Preliminary Climate Change Assessment for the Puget Sound Partnership


Siemann, D. and L. Whitely Binder. 2017. Preliminary Climate Change Assessment for Puget Sound Partnership. A Collaboration of Puget Sound Partnership and the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group. Seattle, WA.


The Puget Sound Partnership is the state agency leading the region’s collective effort to restore and protect Puget Sound. The State Legislature charged the Partnership with achieving six overarching goals by 2020 related to water quantity and quality, species and habitats, and human health and quality of life. However, previous studies by the Partnership and others[1] indicate that climate change and ocean acidification threaten our ability to achieve these goals. To begin assessing the implications of climate change on Puget Sound recovery and long-term protection, the Partnership contracted with University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group to help the Partnership identify key climate concerns and provide a platform for moving toward a more resilient Puget Sound.

The purpose of this study is to develop and implement a preliminary assessment of the implications of changing climate and ocean conditions to Puget Sound Partnership’s goals for ecosystem recovery and long-term protection. This preliminary climate assessment is intended to: support the development of climate adaptation planning that may be included in upcoming revisions of the Action Agenda and related plans, strategies and proposed actions for ecosystem recovery; assist in defining gaps in knowledge on important climate impacts in the Puget Sound Region; and articulate appropriate uses of the findings as well as opportunities for further refining climate risk assessment for Puget Sound.

This project is motivated by findings of The 2014 Puget Sound Pressures Assessment[2] and the State of Knowledge: Climate Change in Puget Sound,[3] which indicate that achieving recovery and long-term protection of Puget Sound ecosystem is threatened by climate change and ocean acidification. This assessment also fulfills a commitment in the 2016 Action Agenda for the Puget Sound Partnership to conduct a vulnerability assessment by 2017 as a foundation for future resiliency planning.[4]

[1] For example, The 2014 Puget Sound Pressures Assessment (McManus et al. 2014) and State of Knowledge: Climate Change in Puget Sound (Mauger et al. 2015)

[2] McManus et al. 2014.

[3] Mauger et al. 2015.

[4] Puget Sound Partnership. 2016.