EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene Parks and Open Space has been certified as salmon-safe by an Oregon nonprofit, Salmon-Safe.
A park system operations are considered salmon-safe when its operational policies and maintenance practices minimize the harmful impacts on water quality and fish habitat. Salmon-safe park systems also makes sure the park meets design standards for stormwater management and construction pollution prevention in future park development.
A team of scientists worked for one year to earn the certification. They carefully watched the sites and procedures to make sure the land wasn't being harmed and the city is providing a good habitat for salmon.
"We're continuing to improve our waterways and to continue to improve out habitat, and like I said earlier, I think it really helps make a better place for Eugenians as well. I think there's a commitment among the community in general that supports habitats, that supports salmon," said Shelly Miller, Eugene Parks and Open Space spokesperson.
Chinook salmon migrate through the heart of the city in the Willamette River. Adult fish head upstream to spawn and juveniles go downstream on their way to the ocean. Young salmon use places like the Delta Ponds and Heron Slough on the west bank of the Willamette River.
Eugene was applauded for pest management and the protection of water quality. The city if certified for the next five years.
Eugene Parks and Open Space will now work on assessing streams and waterways to improve plant life.