Salmon-safe certification

2030 Objective: City land and facility management programs receive salmon-safe certification.
Status: achieved

When it comes to sustainability, the health of our watersheds matter. That’s why achieving third-party certification for the way our city operates its land and facility managed programs was so important. We did it!

The first 2030 objective to be achieved earned us Salmon-Safe certification for City operations, making Portland the first city to earn this certification for the construction, operation and maintenance of City-managed facilities. Six property-owning bureaus were affected by this objective and all agreed to meet certain conditions to achieve certification.  Meeting these conditions will improve land management practices that help protect water quality and imperiled native fish. 

Scientists from Salmon-Safe met with bureau staff, conducted research and made observations prior to certification. Four overarching conditions must be met to maintain certification. These include:  

  1. Conducting integrated stormwater management assessments for all managed properties. 
  2. Assessing all largely vegetated bureau-managed and city-owned properties occupying an area of one acre or more to identify and prioritize habitat protection and restoration opportunities while recognizing use mandates for each.  
  3. Preparing an updated, stand-alone, water conservation plan that may include plans for reducing irrigated acreage, priority zoning of irrigation, use of native plants with low water requirements and expanded use of high efficiency irrigation systems. 
  4. Providing a signed letter to Salmon-Safe stating the construction of future bureau-managed buildings will not include exterior building materials known to be harmful to salmon and water quality. 

Additional information along with the full Salmon-Safe report show the level of commitment the City dedicates to protecting and enhancing watershed health.   

Supporting projects

Portland Fire and Rescue owns and operates 30 building locations throughout the city, each with various amounts of landscaping and watering needs. Water conservation planning began in 2017 with an inventory of existing conservation practices and plantings. The plan should be finalized within 4 years and is expected to reduce the need for water use and runoff at these locations.  

Prior to city operations achieving certification, Portland Parks and Recreation achieved certification for their management practices. First certified in 2003, Portland Parks and Recreation was recertified Salmon-Safe in 2018. A park system is considered salmon-safe when both its impact upon the aquatic ecosystem is assessed and any harmful impacts on water quality and fish habitat are minimized.