At today’s city council meeting, City of Shoreline was awarded Salmon-Safe certification across its operations, making it the first city in Washington to commit to systematically improving water quality and restoring salmon habitat with the goal of leading the way to a healthier Puget Sound.

On Earth Day 2019, the Shoreline City Council unanimously adopted the findings of the assessment by Salmon-Safe’s independent science team, 18-months in the making. Shoreline is a city of 55,730 people on the northwestern edge of King County, bordered to the south by Seattle and to the west by Puget Sound.

“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.”

Salmon-Safe certification affects day-to-day city operations that potentially impact downstream water quality as well as the construction and maintenance of City-managed properties, including City-owned buildings and parks and maintenance yards. In practice it means systems are being implemented to further conserve water, reduce pesticide use, improve erosion control and increase installation of rain gardens and other “green infrastructure” to ensure storm water runoff is clean as it filters into wetlands, groundwater, nearby tributaries and Puget Sound.

Shoreline’s citywide Salmon-Safe initiative builds on the City of Portland’s ongoing Salmon-Safe implementation as the nation’s first certified city, an effort formalized in 2016 by then Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.