Oregon Convention Center

In August 2007, Oregon Convention Center became the first convention facility to earn Salmon-Safe certification. The designation, part of the LEED-certified Oregon Convention Center's ongoing commitment to sustainability, validated the importance of the OCC's rain garden, a stream-like water feature dressed with native plants that serves as a catch basin for roof runoff, filtering the rainwater of debris and other contaminants before it makes its way to the nearby Willamette River. The rain garden was built as part of the OCC's expansion in 2003.

Oregon Convention Center continues to act on Salmon-Safe assessment team recommendations to further enhance its environmental management program. For example, in an effort to reduce water use, the OCC has installed new, low-water fixtures and the management team has developed an even more stringent water conservation plan, including a drought management plan, to reduce annual water use for irrigation. Related to this is the OCC's commitment to find ways for the building's entire roof runoff to filter through the rain garden system or equivalent treatment. In the area of integrated pest management, the OCC has significantly reduced the use of fertilizers and pesticides and converted to slow-release and organic versions.

"We're extremely pleased to have earned Salmon-Safe Certification," said Jeff Blosser, OCC Executive Director, "It helps to validate our ongoing commitment to sustainability in all that we do." Matt Pizzuti, the OCC Director of Sales and Marketing, believes their Salmon-Safe commitment is working to enhance the OCC's business model. "We continually make the short list when sustainability is among an organization's criteria for choosing a destination, and it's often the difference-maker even when sustainability's not a must-have," he said. 

Oregon Convention Center's proximity to the Willamette River meant that stormwater management was of paramount importance to the Salmon-Safe assessment team.

OCC file photo ©2010

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