EPA Geographic Funding at Work on Puget Sound Recovery
Purpose and Scope
This document presents an overview of EPA’s work to protect and restore water quality and ecological integrity in Puget Sound. It includes information on funding, program accomplishments, and recent successes.
By highlighting our work together, our aim is to provide decision-makers and the public an overall view of our program and to reinforce the importance of our collective efforts for recovery of one of the most important ecosystems in the country.
Puget Sound is an economic and cultural engine for the region’s more than 4.7 million people, including 19 federally recognized tribes. Federal support of Puget Sound recovery comes from many programs, most of which are administered by EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Interior, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Since 2010, Congress has appropriated over $350 million in Clean Water Act Section 320 funds for Puget Sound. Under Section 320, EPA has provided National Estuary Program and Geographic Program funding and support to help communities make on-the-ground improvements for clean and safe water, protected and restored habitat, thriving species, and a vibrant quality of life for all, while supporting local jobs.
EPA’s work with the Puget Sound Partnership, state agencies, tribes and other partners has supported important gains in recovery. Results include, for example:
- Comprehensive regional plans to restore the Sound.
- More than $1 billion leveraged for recovery.
- Partnerships with 19 federally recognized tribes.
- Transboundary collaboration with Canada.
- Scientific gains on toxic effects of urban stormwater.
- Since 2007, a net increase of harvestable shellfish beds.
Looking ahead, EPA recognizes that more must be done to achieve a healthy Puget Sound. To achieve positive trends, EPA will continue:
- To enhance Federal Task Force leadership, including a new Action Plan for 2022-2026.
- Cooperation with Canada.
- Fulfillment of National Estuary Program responsibilities, including the approval of a new comprehensive management plan for recovering Puget Sound (the Action Agenda).
- Partnering with tribes.
- Funding and grants, including managing and awarding up to $100 million in projects over the next five years.
- Scientific support.
The foundation is well-established, EPA is a vital partner, and, ultimately, success will depend on the passion and perseverance of the thousands of people who make up the collaborative effort to protect and restore Puget Sound.