Salmon Roe, Row, Row Your Boat. 555 Tower is Salmon-Safe Certified!

jessica bobinac

Communications Manager

14 March 2023

Beyond the Flying Fish at Pike Place Market and prominent symbolism in Native American cultures throughout the Pacific Northwest, salmon play a crucial role in sustaining healthy ecosystems in waterways and forests.

But for years, the salmon population has been rapidly declining. In fact, 2017 reported the lowest number of salmon documented in 20 years of data collection. The decline of salmon has added to the struggle of Puget Sound’s orcas as they attempt (but so far, aren’t succeeding well) to adjust their feeding patterns. One of our resident pods now has perilous low numbers – just 73 whales – due partly to fewer salmon.

Seattle is known by many as the rainiest city in the United States. As stormwater runs across the region’s rooftops, pavement, and farms, it is becoming clear that treating that stormwater before it reaches streams, rivers and lakes can help keep salmon safer downstream.

The west coast’s Salmon-Safe program is dedicated to transforming land management and development practices so that the salmon can once again thrive in their native habitats. The Salmon-Safe certification means that a building or development has employed routine practices to ensure construction activities do not contaminate adjacent waters by integrating water treatment opportunities, using building materials that do not leach toxins into the soil or storm water systems, and/or reducing the impact of stormwater coming off their buildings and properties.

555 Tower Certified Salmon-Safe

UMC is working with the 555 Tower project team to complete the first high-rise within Bellevue’s new building height zoning. In addition to UMC’s contribution to the shell and core design on the project and consultation through the City of Bellevue permit requirements, UMC assisted the project team in achieving the Salmon-Safe certification. Our team coordinated and installed roof drains/stormwater risers in and out of the bioretention cells, some of which are on outdoor terraces above street level.

The stormwater management system for the project includes three bioretention cells totaling 898 square feet and a series of landscaped areas totaling 0.43 acres. These areas together will catch, filter, and slow the release of all stormwater from the roof before it flows to the City of Bellevue stormwater system.

Why Salmon-Safe is Important to Us

UMC has been innovating, building, and improving the built environment in the Pacific Northwest for over a century. From humble beginnings as a small heating and plumbing shop in North Seattle, UMC has expanded and grown both our services and people along with the region. We are enthusiasts, devotees, buffs, and people who are motivated by challenging projects. We take pride in our work and our communities.

Because we’re all downstream from something, UMC is proud to keep our home waters clean as we help our clients grow the region. We like to think the salmon and the orca are glad too.

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