A review of Puget Sound marine and nearshore grant program results, Part 2

A July 2016 report from the University of Washington Puget Sound Institute summarizes and reviews 10 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.  The report is an analysis of findings on invasive species, toxics, oil spill, and integrated risk assessment.

report cover: Analysis of invasive species, toxics, oil spill, and integrated risk assessment findings
report cover: Analysis of invasive species, toxics, oil spill, and integrated risk assessment 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 (EPA) 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 (including capital investments),
  3. addressing high priority threats,
  4. cross cutting issues, and
  5. adaptive management.

Since 2011, the Grant Program has funded more than 65 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 10 grants reviewed in this report are grouped in the High Priority Threats and Cross-cutting Issues investment areas. The Grant Program’s objectives for these grants were to:

“Prevent invasive species and oil spills from degrading Puget Sound and compromising on-going and future recovery efforts.”


“Address threats to Puget Sound that cut across Lead Organizations to achieve synergistic results beyond the scope of the Grant Program.”

This report synthesizes the findings presented in the grant products listed in Table 1. Our analysis is not a comprehensive review of these issues in the Puget Sound region. We focus on the lessons learned and implications of these specific projects. The following analysis of project results is organized by the sub-strategies used in the Action Agenda.


Kinney, A., Francis, T., & Rice, J. (2016). Analysis of invasive species, toxics, oil spill, and integrated risk assessment findings: A review of grant program results, part 2. 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.