Shoreline becomes first Salmon-Safe Certified city in Washington State
On Monday, April 22, Shoreline City Council unanimously voted to become the first Salmon-Safe Certified City in Washington, and only the second certified city in the nation after Portland, Oregon. The vote was the culmination of a process that began in October 2017, when Council decided to make certification a priority to help advance sustainability and climate goals. On May 6, Salmon-Safe presented the City Council with Shoreline's certification.
Salmon-Safe offers a series of peer-reviewed certification and accreditation programs. Their goal is to link land management practices with the protection of agricultural and urban watersheds.
"The risk if we don't address our stormwater problem is that we will lose our salmon in Puget Sound, and then we will lose our orca whales," Mayor Will Hall said. “That is an unacceptable risk and our residents want us to do something about it. My hope is that here in the city of Shoreline, we will learn to make all of our practices safe for the salmon and that future generations will be able to go salmon fishing and watch the orca whales just like we did when we were kids.”
For the citywide certification, staff worked with the Salmon-Safe Science Team and leaders for over a year to develop the conditions for certification. This included the Salmon-Safe team evaluating over 30 City plans, programs, and procedures; interviewing over a dozen staff; and visiting 25 sites within the city. The Science Team identified 12 conditions the City must meet as part of certification.
“The third-party audit by our independent science team shows that the City of Shoreline is on the cutting edge of cities–of any size–in taking a holistic approach to its watershed,” said Ellen Southard, Salmon-Safe Puget Sound outreach manager. “Taken together, the city’s actions represent an integrated approach and meaningful commitment to the health of Puget Sound.”
The City will have five years to fulfill the 12 conditions, which include incorporating more stringent stormwater controls and green stormwater infrastructure into municipal projects; improving the water quality monitoring program; completing substantial design of stormwater management projects with habitat restoration elements; assessing water conservation efforts and the snow removal and ice control plan; updating the integrated pest management plan; and enhancing biodiversity in parks.
The City has committed to meeting these conditions through development of checklists for City projects, the 2023 update of the Surface Water Master Program, design of projects already underway, and additional studies.
This is another example of Shoreline demonstrating regional leadership by contributing to the health of Puget Sound waterways and the salmon and orca that depend on them. It is the hope of the City and Salmon-Safe that other jurisdictions will soon follow suit.
Senior Planner Miranda Redinger