|Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP)
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History and Mission
Recognizing the importance of the nearshore
On the heels of salmon recovery, came a recognition that the watershed based approach used to advance salmon recovery left some gaps with respect to management and recovery planning associated with the nearshore of Puget Sound. So in 2001 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the US. Army Corps of Engineers initiated the "Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project" (PSNERP) to identify the problems and solutions for nearshore ecosystem degradation in Puget Sound. The products of this "General Investigation" will include sound-wide strategies for nearshore ecosystem restoration as well as a set of federally authorized large-scale ecosystem restoration projects to take forward to the US Congress for federal appropriations. Working together with a broad consortium of governmental, tribal, non-profit and private representatives from the region, the concept behind the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP) was conceived.
An integrated approach to nearshore ecosystem recovery
ESRP was envisioned as a mechanism to advance ‘urgent and obvious’ early action projects using PSNERP science and emerging guidance. It was also envisioned as a long-term implementation mechanism to advance the many actions necessary for nearshore ecosystem restoration in Puget Sound that were not a good fit for the Army Corps of Engineers.
In 2006, ESRP was formally established by the Washington State Legislature which appropriated $2.5 million in capital funds to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to fund habitat restoration and protection projects in Puget Sound. Since its inception, ESRP has received and invested $26.5 million in state capital funds and an additional $2.5 million in federal partnership funds in restoration or protection projects.
Today, ESRP is an integral part of a comprehensive nearshore ecosystem restoration strategy, helping to advance the PSNERP, the Puget Sound Partnership's Action Agenda, salmon recovery and WDFW's conservation mission.