Headshot of Laura Soma

Laura Soma

Sustainability Manager

Meet Laura

What’s with the salmon?

The wild salmon is emblematic of the Pacific Northwest. From their prominent portrayal in Native American art to the iconic “Flying Fish” in the Pike Place Market, nothing represents our region more eloquently than these monarchs of the Salish Sea.

Beyond their symbolism, the salmon is a keystone species of our region. They play a crucial role in sustaining healthy ecosystems. In the fall of 2017, The Seattle Times reported on the lowest numbers of juvenile salmon documented in 20 years of data collection. Summer 2019 saw the longest ever absence of our Southern Resident orcas as they left home waters in search of better food sources further afield.

Threats to salmon include overfishing, climate change, and loss of genetic diversity, but by far the greatest threat is habitat loss caused by human development and water contamination. Investing in the growth of our region does not have to come at the expense of what makes it unique. This is a problem we can solve.

What is Salmon-Safe?

Salmon-Safe is dedicated to transforming land management and development practices so that Pacific salmon can thrive in West Coast watersheds. GLY was one of the first General Contractors to embrace the challenge and our partnership with Salmon-Safe has led to a richly rewarding relationship.

What does it mean to be a Salmon-Safe Contractor?

  • As contractors we are the final line of defense in keeping our waters clean. Simple, routine practices ensure that our activities on site don’t contaminate adjacent waters.
  • We treat water on site using multiple processes.
  • We make sure that zero dirty water leaves our jobsites.
  • We ensure that building materials selected do not leach toxins into the soils and surrounding storm water systems.

What does it mean to us? our values?

For GLY, the Pacific Northwest is in our DNA. Being true to our roots and our region is at the heart and soul of our values. We are back packers and hikers, hunters, fishers and boaters. We raise our families here and we understand the responsibility our industry has in ensuring future generations get to enjoy our pristine lands and waters. We take great pride in doing our work in a way that not only allows the urban and natural environments to coexist – but to mutually support each other.

How do Salmon-Safe practices work?

Salmon-Safe works with the design teams to evaluate potential impacts and makes recommendations for mitigation and preservation before project decisions are finalized. Prior to construction, Salmon-Safe verifies that construction processes have measures in place to protect water quality. They then work with the building owners to ensure long term maintenance operations, such as landscaping, fertilizer and pest management, meet best practices to avoid poisoning our watersheds.

How many Salmon-Safe projects has GLY completed?

  1. Expedia Seattle Campus
  2. Vulcan Lakefront Blocks
  3. Vulcan Block 43 [Allen Institute for Brain Institute]
  4. Vulcan Block 38 [520 Westlake] – In Progress
  5. Vulcan West Main – In Progress
  6. Microsoft Campus Modernization – In Progress

There’s always more we can do and more we can learn. GLY will continue to work with organizations like Salmon-Safe to ensure the responsible development of our region for generations to come.

Check out the 2017 Salmon-Safe infographic … a lot has changed in just three years!