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New funding supports technical innovation to restore salmon-bearing watersheds in British Columbia

Press Release

Vancouver, BC – The Government of Canada is committed to restoring healthy habitat for our coastal ecosystems. Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced that the Pacific Salmon Foundation of British Columbia will receive $1.2 million over three years through the Coastal Restoration Fund to help restore wild Pacific salmon, their aquatic ecosystems, and the myriad of species they support.

In May 2017, the Government of Canada announced a $75 million Coastal Restoration Fund (CRF) as part of the historic $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan. The CRF supports projects that will conserve and protect the overall health of our oceans, including rebuilding habitat for species at risk, such as the Southern Resident Killer Whale. This investment will help to rehabilitate some of our most important marine ecosystems and address threats to marine species by addressing historically degraded areas and supporting projects that contribute to coastal restoration. Preference is given to multi-year projects that involve a broad number of partners including Indigenous and conservation groups.

The Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) will receive funding to expand the Pacific Salmon Explorer (PSE) to key salmon-bearing watersheds in British Columbia. Developed in consultation with Provincial and Federal government agencies, local First Nation communities, and NGOs, the Pacific Salmon Explorer assimilates biological data for distinct salmon populations and identifies human and environmental pressures on freshwater habitats within salmon Conservation Units (CUs). The PSE will help to determine priority areas for coastal restoration and support the development of strategies for mitigating key threats and pressures that may be hindering the recovery of important salmon populations.

Projects like the one announced today also support DFO’s efforts to implement the Wild Salmon Policy, for which a second round of consultations will take place from mid-October to mid-December.

Quotes

“Our government is committed to the health of our aquatic ecosystems, and we know that organizations like the Pacific Salmon Foundation are at the forefront of this important work. Today’s $1.2 million investment, from our new Coastal Restoration Fund, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting technical innovations like the Pacific Salmon Explorer. These innovations will support the health and productivity of coastal ecosystems in British Columbia for generations to come.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“We talk about Pacific salmon as a “keystone” species in British Columbia but easily finding reliable information on Pacific salmon is a challenge.  The new Pacific Salmon Explorer provides the most extensive set of information about Pacific salmon to help build public awareness, assist community planning, and inform the management of critical Pacific salmon watersheds.  In partnership with government, First Nations, fishers, and NGO’s, the Pacific Salmon Explorer provides a tool to share information, monitor change, and protect our essential historical information on Pacific salmon across British Columbia.  The Pacific Salmon Foundation received major grant support for the PSE from the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and TransCanada.”

Brian Riddell, President and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation

Quick Facts

  • The Pacific Salmon Explorer (PSE) project by the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) has been identified as a key resource for coastal restoration. The PSE will inform conservation and restoration priorities by providing an overview of the status of salmon populations and their habitats.
  • The project will utilize the PSE in four important salmon-bearing watersheds in BC: The Fraser River and other major rivers draining into the Strait of Georgia, the West Coast of Vancouver Island and the Nass and Kitimat Rivers on the North and Central Coasts.
  • The project will facilitate the conservation and recovery of important salmon populations in British Columbia’s coastal watersheds, like the Southern BC Chinook. In turn, this will contribute to recovery efforts for marine species, including threatened and endangered Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales, who rely on salmon for their survival.
  • The PSF will work in consultation with various North and West Coast First Nations to implement and assess the PSE project.
  • This PSE project will contribute to the development of the Wild Salmon Policy Implementation Plan.

Associated Links

Contacts

Laura Gareau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-992-3474
[email protected]

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-990-7537
[email protected]

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