Every two years, the Puget Sound Partnership is required by statute to produce a Biennial Science Work Plan (BSWP). Its primary purposes are to assess how well ongoing research addresses decision-critical uncertainties relating to the recovery of Puget Sound, make recommendations for priority science actions in the coming biennium, and suggest how science can better support recovery. The latest report in this series, covering the 2014-2016 biennium, is available for public review until April 30, 2014 at http://www.psp.wa.gov/.
The authors report several key conclusions:
- A great deal of science is ongoing that is recovery-relevant (> 181 projects), addressing a wide scope of scientific needs appropriate to an ecosystem as large and complex as Puget Sound.
- Assessment of how well these projects meet recovery goals was precluded because goals were not sufficiently specified, nor were criteria that would indicate whether goals had been met.
- Research priorities for the coming biennium are many, but prominent among them is to learn how to monitor, mitigate, and adapt to ocean acidification.
- The imagined impact of at least 181 research projects focusing on such a diverse array of recovery priorities engenders hope that recovery gains will be forthcoming. However, it also generates expectation that we will have a clear vision of how recovery should proceed, and a better understanding of why recovery progress has been slower than expected. The fact that we currently have neither amplifies the need for advances in discovery that arise from research to be more directly and efficiently applied to the recovery of Puget Sound by applying the principles of Adaptive Management.