The regeneration of wild Pacific salmon populations is fundamental to rebuilding a healthy ocean ecosystem. Wild Pacific salmon are also vitally important for food and cultural purposes, of many Indigenous communities throughout British Columbia. This is why protecting wild salmon stocks and their habitat is a priority for both the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.
The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray and Fin Donnelly, BC’s Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture on behalf of the BC Minister of Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship, the Honourable Josie Osborne, announced $30.5 million in funding for 22 projects under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF).
The investment supports monitoring, research and planning processes that will enhance our understanding of the critical factors affecting local salmon populations. The results will help inform future management decisions as we work to restore and rebuild key salmon habitats throughout the province. Of the 22 projects, 18 will be led by or conducted in partnership with Indigenous organizations and communities across British Columbia.
A few notable projects announced today include:
- the Chemainus/Koksilah Twinned Watershed Salmon Sustainability Project, which aims to record and assess the status, abundance, and preferred habitat of various salmon species in the Chemainus and Koksilah rivers and then use that data to monitor demonstration restoration initiatives addressing low flow impacts on critical anadromous salmonid habitats in those watersheds.
- the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s project to expand and improve the use of the Pacific Salmon Explorer, an interactive data visualization tool that tracks and reports information on the status of fish Conservation Units and their freshwater habitats in BC.
- The next stage of Makeway Charitable Society’s Resilient Waters initiative, which will restore connections to salmon habitat to the Lower Fraser River that have long been broken by flood control infrastructure; and
- the First Nations Fisheries Legacy Fund Society’s project to enhance capacity for monitoring and managing wild salmon habitat in First Nations by integrating community mapping and geospatial technologies.
BCSRIF funding is open to Indigenous communities, industry associations, environmental non-governmental organizations, commercial enterprises, and academic institutions. Investments through this program will help recover salmon habitat, benefit commercial and recreational fishing and aquaculture, as well as support science and research initiatives. Further information on the application process, timelines and program criteria are available on the BCSRIF website: www.bcsrif.ca
“It’s increasingly important that we use innovation, infrastructure and science partnerships to help protect and restore priority wild B.C. fish populations inland and on the coast. BCSRIF is one of our prime federal-provincial tools that enables such partnerships with strong funding support. These 22 new BCSRIF projects will be models that teach us inspire many more. We’re committed to keep working to support wild fish and fisheries and the British Columbians who make their living from them.” – The Honourable Josie Osborne, BC Minister of Water, Land, and Resource Stewardship