Near Term Actions
The very high and high pressures served as the basis for establishing the ILIO Near Term Actions (NTA). NTAs are trackable and measurable activities and initiatives, intended to take place within a two-year window. They are essential components in the successful implementation of the Puget Sound Action Agenda. Near-term actions can be large or small-scale, region wide or locally specific, and are tracked via the Action Agenda Report Card. Federal, state and local partners can utilize the ILIO NTA list to clearly identify ecosystem recovery priorities in the Island watershed over the next two years.
NTA development workshops provided a framework for meaningful conversations that challenged assumptions and forced members to think critically about each proposed NTA. The ILIO Technical Committee used the regional criteria for NTAs and also established five additional selection criteria for evaluating candidate NTAs against each other to determine actions which would be most beneficial: political feasibility, implement ability, ecosystem outcomes, boldness/innovativeness, and number of pressures the action addresses and how well it addresses them. Thirteen NTAs were submitted to an external review committee for comments and suggestions to address the strength of the actions using the selection criteria. Two actions were removed and one was divided into two for a final list of 12 NTAs for Executive Committee review and approval.
The 2011 Island Profile listed seventy-eight general strategy actions for ecosystem recovery. Developing prioritized near term actions in place of that list fostered a clearer connection to regional ecosystem recovery goals and has set up Island watershed with a strategic plan for addressing high priority pressures in the next two years with a list of twelve specific ecosystem recovery near-term actions with trackable performance measures.
Many projects and programs were identified as important to Island's ecosystem recovery efforts during prioritization workshops, but did not meet the NTA selection criteria. These efforts including effective ongoing projects/programs, projects/programs not be ready for funding in the next two years, and/or projects that did not have clearly defined ecosystem outcomes. ILIO will continue to develop priority projects/programs that did not make the near-term action list and apply applicable funding to move them forward in the upcoming years:
- projects in 3-year Salmon Recovery Plan;
- nutrient treatment/management projects;
- storm water treatment/management projects; and
- oil spill response readiness in Island watershed.
The ILIO prioritized pressures and NTA list reflect the best thinking to date, but we expect to continuously hold discussions and reevaluate priorities based on new regional and local data and on the watershed project/program implementation schedule.