Strategic planning

Ecology is Washington’s environmental protection agency. 

Our goals:

  • Protect and restore land, air, and water
  • Prevent pollution
  • Promote healthy communities and natural resources
  • Deliver efficient and effective services

To achieve these goals, we engage in strategic planning under the direction and guidance of the Legislature and Governor's office. Our planning processes take a broad and holistic approach that focuses not only on what we do, but how we do it.

Our approach is both aspirational and practical. Read on to learn about our mission, vision, foundational principles, strategic priorities, and tactical objectives.

Our strategic priorities

Traffic congestion in Seattle, WA.

Reduce and prepare for climate impacts

Washington is preparing for the future. This means understanding and reducing the impacts from climate change on communities, natural resources, and the economy. Learn more about our work to reduce and prepare for climate change.
A female in a white lab coat cutting up a product to test it for harmful chemicals.

Prevent and reduce toxic threats

Effectively reducing threats from toxic substances requires cleaning up existing contamination, managing current uses, and reducing or eliminating future use. Learn about our work to prevent and reduce toxic threats.

Sustainable recycling: a new challenge

Overall, recycling rates are approaching 50 percent. However, recent changes to global markets for recycled commodities have created a crisis for long-established recycling programs. We are working with our partners to address this unprecedented challenge. Learn more about our work to face this new challenge.
Aerial view of the Yakima River flowing through farmland.

Deliver integrated water solutions

Integrated water solutions is a coordinated and collaborative approach to delivering clean, cool water. It ensures Washington has adequate water supplies to meet current and future drinking water needs, commercial and agricultural uses, and sustain fish and the natural environment. Learn more about our work to deliver integrated water solutions.

Streamflow restoration

Washington’s new streamflow restoration law helps protect water resources, provides water for families in rural Washington, and directs local planning groups to develop streamflow restoration plans. Learn more about our work on streamflow restoration.

An Orca breaching in Puget Sound with Mt. Rainier in the background.

Protect and restore Puget Sound

Puget Sound requires our continued attention. We are building partnerships and making investments to restore, protect, and preserve the health of Puget Sound. Learn more about our work to protect and restore Puget Sound.

 Contributing to Orca recovery

In support of Governor Inslee’s Executive Order 18-02, we are leading a Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force workgroup focused on toxic contaminants. Our team is working to identify how the state can help reduce the impacts of human-caused contamination on the orcas. Learn more about our work to protect orca whales from extinction.