Human Wellbeing

Photo courtesy of Kristian Marson.
Photo courtesy of Kristian Marson.

People benefit from a healthy Hood Canal environment

We have always known that the Hood Canal natural environment contributes to our wellbeing. It is why we want to live and vacation here. Those values inform the way we manage natural resources.

Healthy ecosystems benefit people in many ways, providing clean water, food, recreation, and they have cultural, spiritual and psychological significance. Natural resources are also a significant contributor to the local economy. We measure human wellbeing in Hood Canal to capture local values and help ensure they are honored. Monitoring human wellbeing will inform and help us evaluate watershed strategies for social and ecological benefits.

Social scientists generally define human wellbeing by six different aspects or domains: psychological, physical health, social health, cultural health, governance and economic. The Integrated Watershed Plan has adopted those, as well as specific indicators for each.  When we combine the results of our assessment of human wellbeing indicators with our assessment of environmental indicators, we get a snapshot of the overall social-ecological health of Hood Canal.

The indicators are not meant to comprehensively capture all aspects of human wellbeing and the environment. They were selected using a participatory process involving Hood Canal residents and natural resource professionals. The indicators and methods will be refined and expanded in the future. Learn more about how human wellbeing indicators were selected in Hood Canal

We are managing our Hood Canal home and its resources to ensure its health and vitality into the future

The mission of the Integrated Watershed Plan (IWP) is to achieve a healthy Hood Canal that benefits people now and in future generations. The current focus areas integrate the ecological and social aspects of our region, including:  forests, forestry, shellfish, commercial shell fishing, salmon, and human wellbeing.

Our first human wellbeing survey was conducted in 2014 using Google Consumer Surveys, an internet-based survey instrument. Respondents were identified in all of the Hood Canal zip codes, and were further screened to target only respondents who live full-time, part-time, or own property in Hood Canal. Results were weighted based on demographic data from the 2010 US Census and 2012 5-Year American Community Survey. Learn more about our survey methods and results in the Measuring Human Wellbeing Indicators for Hood Canal report.

Within the human wellbeing focus area, we’ve specified a number of indicators by which to monitor the success of our efforts.

Indicators