A review of Puget Sound marine and nearshore grant program results, Part 1

A 2015 report from the University of Washington Puget Sound Institute summarizes and reviews 14 EPA-funded projects focusing on Puget Sound's marine and nearshore environments. The projects were conducted between 2011-2015 with support from the EPA's National Estuary Program.

report cover: Analysis of  Effective Regulation and Stewardship Findings
report cover: Analysis of Effective Regulation and Stewardship Findings


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) together serve as the Marine and Nearshore Lead Organization (LO) responsible for developing and implementing a 6-year strategy for implementing priorities of the Action Agenda for Puget Sound. The Puget Sound Marine and Nearshore Grant Program (“the Grant Program”) awards funds provided under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program for projects related to protecting and restoring marine and nearshore habitat. The Grant Program has organized their investments into five areas:

  1. effective regulation and stewardship,
  2. habitat restoration and protection,
  3. addressing high priority threats (invasive species and oil spills),
  4. cross cutting issues, and
  5. adaptive management.

Since 2011, the Grant Program has funded more than 45 projects. Work on grants awarded during Rounds 1-4 of the current 6-year funding cycle has largely been completed. During Round 5, the grant program funded the Puget Sound Institute (PSI) to analyze and synthesize results of the first 4 years of awards. As part of an adaptive management strategy, the aim of this grant is to evaluate past results in order to inform and optimize outcomes at project, programmatic, and Puget Sound recovery levels. PSI is evaluating the Grant Program’s portfolio of projects in groups by investment area.

 The 14 grants reviewed in this report are grouped in the effective regulation and stewardship investment area. The Grant Program’s objective for these grants was to:

“Reduce human development pressure in Puget Sound marine and nearshore environments through regulatory and voluntary protection measures.”

This report synthesizes the findings presented in the 14 grant products listed in Table 1 of this document. Our analysis is not a comprehensive review of regulatory effectiveness and stewardship issues in the Puget Sound region. We focus on the lessons learned and implications of these specific projects.

Analysis of project results is organized by the sub-strategies used in the Action Agenda to facilitate consideration of recommendations contained herein during 2016/2017 updates.


Kinney, A., Francis, T., & Rice, J. (2016). Analysis of effective regulation and stewardship findings: A review of Puget Sound Marine and Nearshore Grant Program results, part 1. Tacoma, WA: University of Washington Puget Sound Institute.

Download the full report

About the Author: 
Aimee Kinney, Tessa Francis, and Jeff Rice are with the University of Washington's Puget Sound Institute.