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New funding coming to Campbell River, Puntledge watersheds for Fish and Wildlife projects

Marmots, Campbell River estuary and more receive funding from Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program
The Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program will be funding the relocation of Vancouver Island Marmots to Strathcona Park this year. Photo Adam Taylor

Some fish and wildlife conservation projects in the Campbell River watershed are getting funding to the tune of about $173,000.

The funds are from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP). They will be going to projects looking at gravel placement within the Campbell River for fish habitat, and restoration work within the estuary. In the Comox Valley, riparian habitat work at the Kus-kus-sum site, a project of eco-cultural controlling of overabundant Canada geese in the Puntledge River, funding for the Puntledge River Hatchery, and a project to add nutrients to the Puntledge. The Puntledge watershed will also see funding to help preserve 289-hectares near Morrison Creek. Finally, funding will be going towards an ongoing recovery program for endangered Vancouver Island marmots.

“Marmots are an at-risk species and they make a valuable contribution to alpine ecosystems,” said Julie Fournier, the FWCP’s Coastal Region manager. “The efforts of the Marmot Recovery Foundation are helping the FWCP fulfill its mission to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife in watersheds impacted by BC Hydro dams.”

Through the project, between two and six marmots will be moved from a Mount Washington colony to support the growing Strathcona Park population. The marmot project received $12,685 this year, making the total so far $556,112 since 2011. Nearly 600 captive-bred marmots have been released into the wild since the Marmot Recovery Foundation began its work in 2007.

Greenways Land Trust is one of the beneficiaries of the Campbell River watershed funding. That funding is for a multi-year project to restore ecological function in the watershed through invasive plant management. Invasive plants targeted include yellow flag iris, purple loosestrife and Japanese knotweed.

The Guardians of Mid-Island Estuaries Society also received funding to support a multi-year eco-cultural restoration project. The project will build on recent restoration efforts in the estuary with the goal of reducing erosion and providing better resiliency to peak flows.

In all, FWCP is providing $2.4 million for 28 projects in the coastal region, with a total $10.5 million going to 90 projects across the province.

RELATED: North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association opens applications for conservation funding

B.C. raises freshwater fishing fees, with funds supporting angling and conservation

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