Salmon-Safe PSA

Project Report:
Salmon-Safe Communities: Developing a Market-Based Conservation Initiative for Large-Scale Residential Development
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.


Salmon-Safe received seed funding to develop Salmon-Safe Communities, the nation’s first certification program linking large-scale residential development to the protection of urban water quality & the preservation of an endangered species. The project leveraged Walker Foundation’s earlier investments in Salmon-Safe by extending our innovative market-based program to the residential building sector.


This start-up phase of Salmon-Safe Communities focused on adaptation of Salmon-Safe's peer-reviewed urban standards to the large-scale residential development setting as well as pilot assessments at several high profile sites in Oregon and Washington. Salmon-Safe certification requires that site design incorporate innovative stormwater management practices that emphasize natural filtration. Certification also will require protection of riparian and wetland habitat and the conservation of native biodiversity. The project achieved each of its key milestones with residential standards released for peer review in June 2008, and our first pilot certification, Portland's high profile 39-acre South Waterfront live/work neighborhood, certified in September 2008 after committing to ecologically sustainable site design & development by embedding Salmon-Safe standards into the covenants for each new block as it is developed. We anticipate that final certification standards, incorporating peer review comments, will be completed by December 2008. Salmon-Safe is targeting 10 major developments for project participation beginning in 2009, including several sites incorporating affordable housing. Beyond the 12-month start-up phase funded by Walker Foundation and other private foundations, Salmon-Safe Communities will be entirely funded by fees to developers like Salmon-Safe's market-based initiatives targeting corporate and university campuses and municipal park systems.


Like our Walker Foundation-funded agricultural work, Salmon-Safe Communities explores & develops market-based incentives as an alternative to relying on new regulatory mandates to protect imperiled Pacific Coast wild salmon. Salmon-Safe has a 10-year track record of success in helping to build high value markets for ecologically sustainable farm products. Through our first major residential project at South Waterfront, Salmon-Safe Communities already is delivering similar marketplace benefits through a bus side campaign that will reach 600,000 area residents.


Even beyond the West Coast, Salmon-Safe Communities has national and even international implications by helping to redefine green building beyond energy efficiency and source materials to protecting native biodiversity and urban watersheds. In the same way, the project's market-based model is likely to replicated by other organizations to engage developers in their regions in ecologically sustainable practices. Already, Salmon-Safe has shared the Salmon-Safe Communities standards with a Vancouver B.C.-based conservation organization that will adapt the standards for residential development throughout Canada's Fraser Basin. Salmon-Safe Communities has been developed so that it can be applied in any watershed where landowners are seeking non-regulatory solutions to water quality and endangered species issues.

Information Dissemination

Project results primarily are being disseminated through presentations at regional and national conferences including the American Society of Civil Engineers 2008 conference in Seattle. Closer to home, the pilot certified sites are being promoted in public service advertising and bus side campaigns in the Portland area. Salmon-Safe also is disseminating information on results through extensive media outreach and

Amount Approved
$25,000.00 on 11/27/2007 (Check sent: 12/4/2007)

  Related Organizations
Salmon-Safe Inc.  

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Posted 10/1/2007 1:31 PM
Updated   3/16/2009 6:23 PM

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