Campbell River benefits from Pacific Salmon Foundation grants and community outreach

Since 1992 the Foundation has invested nearly $600,000 in Campbell River projects

Campbell River salmon restoration and conservation groups are among the most active of regional volunteers that benefit from Pacific Salmon Foundation funding.

Since 1992 the Foundation has invested nearly $600,000 in Campbell River projects with a total value of $4.7 million. Part of Campbell River’s success is a heavy investment in community outreach and education

Most recently, Campbell River has received $13,500 in support from the Pacific Salmon Foundation to help build awareness and environmental stewardship in the community. The funding is part of more than $464,000 in grants this spring and summer to support 57 projects in 45 communities across B.C.

The grant funding included $13,000 to the Discovery Passage SeaLife Society for a salmon display tank and educational salmon life cycle signage at the new aquarium at the Fishing Pier. The BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences also received $500 for its Ocean’s Day celebration.

“The funding allowed us to increase education and awareness around the ocean and salmon,” said Elan Downey of the BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences.

On Saturday, July 27 the Foundation will hold a Pink Salmon Festival in Campbell River thanks to the hard work of Campbell River local and Foundation volunteer Larry E. Stefanyk. Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Foundation’s efforts in the Campbell River area.

“Pink salmon are the smallest and most abundant of the Pacific salmon, and are at a record high in the North Pacific, but they are sometimes overlooked by the public as a desirable food source,” said Stefanyk. “We’re trying to educate the public that by considering pinks as a seafood choice, you are making an environmentally sustainable purchase. Campbell River is a thriving fishing community and it benefits us to help people make the connection between stewardship of the resource and being able to enjoy it.”

Many people in Campbell River don’t realize they are already supporting the Foundation. When Campbell River anglers purchase a Salmon Conservation Stamp, they are also helping to fund salmon conservation and restoration projects. Significant funding for community grants are generated through proceeds from sales of the Salmon Conservation Stamp, the decal that must be purchased annually by anglers if they wish to keep Pacific salmon caught in saltwater off of Canada’s West Coast. Since 1989, the Foundation has received $6.5 million in Salmon Conservation Stamp funds. Earlier this year, the Foundation successfully campaigned to return 100 per cent of Salmon Conservation Stamp user fees to B.C.

“The success of our community partners provided a strong case for returning all of the Salmon Conservation Stamp funds to B.C.,” said Dr. Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the Foundation. “The new stamp money has the potential to generate an additional $1 million for future community grants, which we believe will help us adequately meet the needs of our community partners,”

Riddell said Campbell River’s representative in parliament, MP John Duncan (Vancouver Island North) was a vocal proponent in Ottawa for the Foundation’s Salmon Conservation Stamp proposal.

Riddell also said Foundation grants in 2013 marked a key expansion as community streamkeeping groups extend their work into near-shore marine habitats.

“Salmon science is increasingly indicating that the freshwater and marine habitats are equally critical to salmon survival,” said Riddell. “It was exciting to be able to fund several projects taking place in saltwater as well as freshwater this year.”

In addition to funds generated by the Salmon Conservation Stamp, the Foundation raises roughly another $1 million annually through 11 community fundraising dinners, corporate and private donations, and contributions made through B.C. sport fishing lodges.

Since 1987, the Foundation has invested $37.5 million into 2,073 projects for salmon conservation across B.C. The projects were largely the work of more than 35,000 volunteer streamkeepers across. The results have been significant, including 11 million juvenile salmon produced through community hatcheries and 1.1 million square meters of streams and estuaries and plant habitat rehabilitated. Combined with volunteer labor and local donations of goods, services and money, the total value of the projects has been $136 million during the last 26 years.

 

About the Pacific Salmon Foundation:

The Pacific Salmon Foundation was created in 1987 as an independent, non-governmental, charitable organization to protect, conserve and rebuild Pacific Salmon populations in British Columbia and the Yukon. The Foundation’s mission is to be the trusted voice for conservation and restoration of wild Pacific salmon and their ecosystems and works to bring salmon back stream by stream through the strategic use of resources and local communities. Visit: www.psf.ca