"Salmon-Safe" Designation Celebrates PSU's Commitment to Sustainability
Author: David Santen, Office of University Communications (503-725-8789)
Posted: August 3, 2006

An organization that recognizes businesses and farms for environmentally sustainable practices has certified Portland State University as the nation’s first “Salmon-Safe” university campus.

The Salmon-Safe organization certifies ecologically sustainable land management practices that protect agricultural and urban watersheds so that native salmon can spawn and thrive. A team of experts in salmon habitat and restoration, integrated pest management, and storm water treatment met with University officials to assess Portland State’s policies and practices in November 2005. While PSU initially met many of the standards, recommendations included the development of a water conservation plan and improved irrigation system, transitioning from “high-risk” and synthetic fertilizers, and continued progress toward meeting its storm water management plan objectives.

“This certification recognizes our desire to support sustainable development and practices on this campus, both in the classroom and in facilities operations, and to continue our work as a national leader in sustainability,” said Dresden Skees-Gregory, facilities sustainability coordinator at PSU.

PSU President Dan Bernstine, Provost Roy Koch and Oregon Sen. Ginny Burdick will help celebrate Portland State University’s “Salmon-Safe” status at a ceremony and reception 11 a.m., Friday, August 4, 2006 at the Epler Hall courtyard (1136 SW Montgomery Ave.). Peter Paquet, Salmon-Safe board chair, will present the award. A reception with Salmon-Safe wines as well local and organic treats and campus “eco-tours” will follow the presentation, as well as a free community lecture by PSU Professor Veronica Dujon, “To Fish or Not to Fish: Columbia River Gillnetters’ Adaptation Strategies to the Declining Salmon Industry,"(Epler Hall, room 108, 12:30 p.m.).

Portland State’s commitment to sustainable practices includes campus operations management, construction of LEED-rated buildings, integrating sustainability into existing master’s and doctoral degree programs, and offering professional and graduate certificate programs in sustainability and sustainable urban development. PSU is home to the Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices, which supports cross-disciplinary research and community projects, and also supports a number of international projects in countries such as China and Vietnam. Visit or download a PDF at for additional information.

Corporate campus certification is the latest offering from Salmon-Safe, which has been certifying agricultural and urban land since 1996 as a powerful means to encourage management practices that protect and restore salmon habitat. Nike’s 175-acre world headquarters campus became Salmon-Safe certified last year, Kettle Foods 7-acre Salem campus was awarded certification in May, and in July Toyota Logistics Services’ Vehicle Distribution Center, an 86-acre property that borders the Willamette River at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 4, became the first Salmon-Safe industrial site.

Salmon-Safe certifies ecologically sustainable land management practices that protect agricultural and urban watersheds so that native salmon can spawn and thrive. Since 1996, more than 40,000 acres of farmland have become Salmon-Safe certified, including 85 vineyards that represent a third of Oregon’s total vineyard acreage. Other Salmon-Safe farms’ products range from hazelnuts to fruits and vegetables, herbal medicinals, bison meat, grass seed, and cut flowers. Find out more at

PSU earned certification after a comprehensive assessment of campus operations and facilities. Portland State is the nation’s most sustainable urban university, integrating environmentally conscious practices into teaching, research, community engagement, and operations and facilities management.

Media interested in attending the dedication ceremony tomorrow or taking a separate “eco-tour” of PSU’s campus should contact David Santen at 503-725-8789.

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Dresden Skees-Gregory (503-725-8945)
PSU Facilities Sustainability Coordinator

For Immediate Release (#06-096)