Local groups net salmon grants

Nine North Island projects have landed funding as part of the Pacific Salmon Foundation's 2014 Community Salmon Program Grants program.

Nine North Island projects have landed funding as part of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s 2014 Community Salmon Program Grants program.

The Pacific Salmon Foundation announced $1.5 million in grants to 121 projects in 72 communities across British Columbia through its Community Salmon Program Tuesday.

The grants focus on habitat restoration, salmon enhancement, education, and community awareness. Funding for these grants was generated through sales of the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Stamp, commonly known as the “Salmon Stamp” through Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

“This year’s funding announcement is the largest in the history of the Foundation’s Community Salmon Program,” said Dr. Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation “But the most important point is that for every $1 that the Foundation grants another $6 is generated within local communities. This tremendous leverage is what helped the federal government to decide in 2013 to return 100 per cent of Salmon Stamp funds to British Columbia.”

Beneficiaries on the North Island included:

• Cordy Creek Hatchery — received $9,000. Communications and water supply infrastructure damaged in a 2011 windstorm at Cordy Creek to be replaced or upgraded to help with overall hatchery operation;

• Northern Vancouver Island Salmonid Enhancement Association — received $1,100. Funding will be used to purchase new “chillers’ for the classroom so children can continue to learn about the lifecycle of the Pacific salmon.

• Port McNeill Chinook Club — received $2,272. Funds to be used to insert coded wire tags in juvenile salmon to determine the local harvest rate and percentage of hatchery fish in fisheries;

• Mainland Enhancement of Salmonid Species Society — received $2,620. Barriers will be removed in three creeks that will increase access and spawning area for salmon; and,

• Salmon Coast Field Station Society — received $1,500 for the purchase of materials for safety upgrades in an aluminum boat used extensively for salmon assessment and research activities.

Friends of the Marble River Society received a total of $17,840 to fund four projects:

• $950 to help repair a salmon feeder at the Marble River Hatchery that was damaged by a black bear last year;

• $2,000 to purchase a marine net pen for rearing ocean Marble River Chinook juvenile salmon;

• $2,500 for repairs to infrastructure to allow a semi-natural rearing channel for Marble River Chinook and Coho juvenile salmon to be used once again; and,

• $12,390 for the replacement of a retaining wall which supports the rearing tanks used in production of Chinook and Coho salmon for the Marble River.

“Recreational fishing is an important economic activity which attracts thousands of visitors to Canada and contributes billions of dollars to our economy every year,” said the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “The projects funded through the Salmon Stamp and the Government’s contribution to the Pacific Salmon Foundation will benefit British Columbia and Yukon communities for years to come.”

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