In 2015, a small but committed group of staff from local, tribal, and county governments; regional planning agencies; and academia in Washington State’s central Puget Sound region met with the Institute of Sustainable Communities (ISC) to discuss the possibility of forming a regional climate preparedness collaborative.

The motivations for a collaborative were clear:

  • Climate change affects the entire region and is expected to accelerate in the coming decades, increasing the risks for public health and safety, roads and bridges, critical public services, and economic continuity.
  • Communities and organizations in the Puget Sound region need to work across jurisdictional boundaries to best prepare for the impacts of climate change which have no geographical boundaries.
  • The resources to prepare and build resilience vary greatly between communities and organizations, making it challenging to develop adaptation strategies.

This group activated a joint climate preparedness network designed to shape and share a better future for the Puget Sound region. This collaboration aims to move beyond the fragmented planning and preparedness programs of individual organizations and jurisdictions toward a more connected and informed regional community of practitioners.

In 2017, the Puget Sound Climate Preparedness Collaborative was formally announced. Membership is steadily growing and a Steering Committee convenes on a quarterly basis to share progress, coordinate regional efforts, plan workshops, and advance the Collaborative’s climate preparedness goals. View the list of Collaborative signatories and participating organizations here.