PDFRCW 90.71.260

Development of the action agendaIntegration of watershed programs and ecosystem-level plans.

(1) The partnership shall develop the action agenda in part upon the foundation of existing watershed programs that address or contribute to the health of Puget Sound. To ensure full consideration of these watershed programs in a timely manner to meet the required date for adoption of the action agenda, the partnership shall rely largely upon local watershed groups, tribes, cities, counties, special purpose districts, and the private sector, who are engaged in developing and implementing these programs.
(2) The partnership shall organize this work by working with these groups in the following geographic action areas of Puget Sound, which collectively encompass all of the Puget Sound basin and include the areas draining to the marine waters in these action areas:
(a) Strait of Juan de Fuca;
(b) The San Juan Islands;
(c) Whidbey Island;
(d) North central Puget Sound;
(e) South central Puget Sound;
(f) South Puget Sound; and
(g) Hood Canal.
(3) The council shall define the geographic delineations of these action areas based upon the common issues and interests of the entities in these action areas, and upon the characteristics of the Sound's physical structure, and the water flows into and within the Sound.
(4) The executive director, working with the board representatives from each action area, shall invite appropriate tribes, local governments, and watershed groups to convene for the purpose of compiling the existing watershed programs relating or contributing to the health of Puget Sound. The participating groups should work to identify the applicable local plan elements, projects, and programs, together with estimated budget, timelines, and proposed funding sources, that are suitable for adoption into the action agenda. This may include a prioritization among plan elements, projects, and programs.
(5) The partnership may provide assistance to watershed groups in those action areas that are developing and implementing programs included within the action agenda, and to improve coordination among the groups to improve and accelerate the implementation of the action agenda.
(6) The executive director, working with the board, shall also compile and assess ecosystem scale management, restoration, and protection plans for the Puget Sound basin.
(a) At a minimum, the compilation shall include the Puget Sound nearshore estuary project, clean-up plans for contaminated aquatic lands and shorelands, aquatic land management plans, state resource management plans, habitat conservation plans, and recovery plans for salmon, orca, and other species in Puget Sound that are listed under the federal endangered species act.
(b) The board should work to identify and assess applicable ecosystem scale plan elements, projects, and programs, together with estimated budget, timelines, and proposed funding sources, that are suitable for adoption into the action agenda.
(c) When the board identifies conflicts or disputes among ecosystem scale projects or programs, the board may convene the agency managers in an attempt to reconcile the conflicts with the objective of advancing the protection and recovery of Puget Sound.
(d) If it determines that doing so will increase the likelihood of restoring Puget Sound by 2020, the partnership may explore the utility of federal assurances under the endangered species act, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1531 et seq., and shall confer with the federal services administering that act.
(7) The executive director shall integrate and present the proposed elements from watershed programs and ecosystem-level plans to the council for consideration for inclusion in the action agenda not later than July 1, 2008.
[ 2007 c 341 § 8.]