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YVR the first airport in the world to be Salmon-Safe certified

Vancouver International Airport leads industry in environmental practices

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has become the first airport in North America to achieve Salmon-Safe certification. This certification acknowledges YVR’s ongoing efforts and commitment to transform its land and water management practices, to protect Fraser River water quality and enhance the habitat so Pacific salmon continue to thrive. 

“YVR is a leader in airport sustainability and has ambitious five-year environmental targets. With Salmon-Safe certification, we’ve achieved two of these 2020 goals ahead of schedule,” said Craig Richmond, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “Many people know of our airport’s stunning views of sea, sky and land, but with Salmon-Safe, they now also know we’re minimizing our impact on the natural world, and working to improve the Fraser River ecosystem.”

Salmon-Safe is a site-specific certification program recognizing progressive, environmentally friendly land and water management practices. Salmon-Safe is active across British Columbia, Oregon and Washington. Pacific Salmon Foundation and Fraser Basin Council co-manage Salmon-Safe in British Columbia, in partnership with Salmon-Safe Inc. in Portland.

To certify YVR, a team of independent Salmon-Safe experts conducted preliminary meetings and operational reviews at the airport, followed by a detailed site-wide assessment to review the airport’s stormwater management, landscaping practices, chemical containment, and wildlife and pest management.

In meeting Salmon-Safe standards, YVR has met three site-wide pre-conditions and has committed to 10 conditions. In particular, YVR will protect water quality and aquatic life from harmful pesticides; implement a comprehensive stormwater management plan; reduce site-wide water consumption and ensure zero sediment runoff during future construction activities. 

"We are delighted with the leadership shown by Vancouver International Airport in becoming the first airport in North America to achieve Salmon-Safe certification for its facilities and the surrounding lands it manages,” said David Marshall, Executive Director of Fraser Basin Council. “YVR's commitment to improving land-use practices to protect water quality and enhance habitat along the shores of the mighty Fraser River deserves recognition. We look forward to working closely with YVR as the airport continues to raise the bar for environmental management within the aviation industry, not only in Canada, but across North America."

“Salmon-Safe certification for the YVR site adds to the successes we have had in encouraging and recognizing fish-friendly practices on agricultural land, with more than 10,000 acres now certified Salmon-Safe across British Columbia,” said Dr. Brian Riddell, President and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. “I am confident this will increase the profile of Salmon-Safe as an important ecological certification that applies broadly in urban and rural environments.”

In following its 2015-2019 Environmental Management Plan, YVR has also already achieved its five-year target of having zero storm water samples containing more than 100mg/l of glycol – a chemical used to de-ice aircraft. The airport is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent, divert 50 per cent of waste from landfill and reduce potable water consumption by 30 per cent.