The Pacific Salmon Foundation announced over $29,000 for two Pacific salmon projects in Port Hardy. The total value of the projects including volunteer time and community fund-raising is over $117,000. The Foundation’s Community Salmon Program supports habitat stewardship, Pacific salmon enhancement and watershed education, and is funded primarily from sales of the federal government’s Salmon Conservation Stamp.
Both of the projects are by the Northern Vancouver Island Salmon Enhancement Association. The first is a fish counter that will be designed and constructed to help evaluate returns and marine survival of hatchery and wild salmon on the Quatse River. The other project will involve purchasing equipment that controls water temperature at the same hatchery, thus improving salmon survival rates during the early rearing period.
“We are pleased to support the Northern Vancouver Island Salmon Enhancement Association and their projects because the work will be help increase our understanding of the status of salmon on the Quatse River,” said Dr. Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. The Foundation’s Community Salmon Program supports community groups, volunteers and First Nations across the province. All give countless hours each year to monitor watersheds, develop and implement habitat rehabilitation projects, and educate communities about the conservation and protection of salmon. The program requires grantees to find matching funds for projects. On average, grantees raise an additional $6 for every dollar they receive through additional fund-raising for donations of in-kind and money at the community level. The majority of funds for the Community Salmon Program were generated through sales of the federal Salmon Conservation Stamp.
The Salmon Conservation Stamp is a decal that must be purchased annually by anglers if they wish to keep Pacific salmon caught in saltwater off of Canada’s West Coast. Currently all proceeds from the $6 dollar stamp are returned to British Columbia through the Foundation, generating about $1 million for community grants annually.
In addition to funds generated from the sales of the federal “Salmon Stamp”, the grants are made possible by Pacific Salmon Foundation fund-raising dinners, auctions and donations from individuals, foundations and businesses. Several businesses and foundations also contribute to the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s community salmon program.
“The Community Salmon Program captures the essence of what we are trying to do at the Foundation,” concluded Riddell. “Government, business, First Nations and volunteers all working together “that is the best way to ensure the future of wild Pacific salmon.”