Restore Puget Sound

VISION 2050 policies to protect environment and water quality

The draft VISION 2050 plan emphasizes environmental sustainability and water quality. The region’s vision for 2050 includes a healthy Puget Sound where orcas and salmon thrive, shellfish and swimming beaches can be used and enjoyed, and water is treated as a valuable resource.

While the region has made progress in restoring the health of Puget Sound, significant work and challenges remain. With the steep decline of orca and salmon populations, the health of Puget Sound has become a more urgent issue over the last 10 years. Stormwater pollution and changes in the hydrology of runoff patterns are the biggest threats to Puget Sound water quality.

Local governments play a critical role in Puget Sound recovery through actions such as protecting and restoring critical habitat, converting hardened shorelines back to more natural conditions, protecting aquifers, and promoting and installing green stormwater infrastructure. Beyond treating stormwater, green stormwater infrastructure, or low-impact development, can:

  • Create mini-parks with trees and plants
  • Prevent flooding and erosion damage
  • Provide habitat for pollinators
  • Improve air quality and provide shade
  • Replenish groundwater
  • Contribute to health and wellness by adding more green space
  • Calm traffic and create safer streets for walking and biking
  • Increase sewer capacity

Sidewalk with stormwater feature
Green stormwater infrastructure in Seattle

This is a critical time in the recovery of Puget Sound’s health. It will never be as achievable or affordable as it is today.

The Environment section in VISION 2050 includes more information on Puget Sound health and how the region can improve it.

PSRC is seeking comments on the draft VISION 2050 plan through September 16. Learn more in the online open house.