VANCOUVER, Sept. 5, 2019 /CNW/ - Healthy wild fish stocks are vital to the economic prosperity and social fabric of British Columbia's coastal communities, and are fundamental to the culture of many Indigenous communities.
The focus on habitat restoration projects and research science is part of a broader approach to addressing declines in salmon stocks that include restoring lost protections for fish and fish habitat in the modernized Fisheries Act, science-based fisheries management measures, reviewing concerns regarding predation and implementing a plan to fight climate change.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, and the British Columbia Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Lana Popham, announced 14 projects under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF), amounting to almost $6.2 million in year one funding and almost $30 million in funding over the five years of the program.
Projects funded under BCSRIF will advance work to enhance salmon habitats to help support British Columbia's fish and seafood sector, and help secure the sustainability of wild Pacific salmon, as well as other wild fish stocks. Over the next five years, investments through the BCSRIF will help ensure British Columbia's wild fisheries are environmentally and economically sustainable for the long-term, and that employment in the fishery is resilient to the challenges of climate change, as well as evolving economic conditions.
BCSRIF funding is open to Indigenous communities, industry associations, environmental non-governmental organizations and academic institutions. Each application is reviewed and approved by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Province of British Columbia. Investments through this program will benefit commercial and recreational fishing and aquaculture, as well as science and research initiatives.
"Our government understands the need to protect and restore salmon habitats as a key part of our plan to sustain and restore wild salmon populations. Through the investments being made under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund, we are taking decisive action in improving conditions and habitat in waterways across the province. Working in partnership with the Province of British Columbia, I am confident that we can and are making substantive progress in protecting and enhancing our wild fish stocks and in strengthening our fishing industry for today, and for generations to come."
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
"These projects highlight how many British Columbians are working together to help wild salmon, and how our collective knowledge, respect and appreciation of the species will help them recover. Multiple First Nations, governments, conservation organizations, industry, and academic institutions are working to restore habitat in key streams and rivers in different parts of the province, research ways to optimize performance in community hatcheries, and help understand and prepare for the threats salmon face through climate change. It is a lot of hard work, and it will be ongoing, but the impressive cooperation and commitment of so many British Columbians is helping the outlook for wild salmon recovery."
The Honourable Lana Popham, BC Minister of Agriculture
- Additional information on the 23 initial projects selected for BCSRIF funding can be found online here.
- The British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund is a 70 per cent federal, 30 per cent provincial cost-shared program.
- The Government of Canada is investing $100 million over five years through the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund, and is providing a one-time investment of $5 million for the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund.
- The Government of British Columbia is investing $42.85 million over five years through the fund and has provided a one-time grant of $5 million for the Pacific Salmon Foundation.
- Indigenous communities, commercial organizations in the wild fisheries and aquaculture sectors, recreational fisheries, as well as non-commercial organizations such as universities and research institutions, industry associations and conservation groups, can apply.
- Salmon are a part of intricate food webs, from tiny zooplankton, to large mammals like whales and bears, in both their freshwater and marine environments.
- Wild salmon are culturally important for many First Nations in British Columbia. Wild salmon is also part of the province's long-running tradition of recreational and sport fishing, which is directly connected to its tourism industry.
- Further opportunities to apply for funding will be provided in the late fall of 2019. Details and exact dates will be made available at a later date.
- British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund
- Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund
- National Indigenous Fisheries Institute
- British Columbia Conservation Foundation
- Baker Creek Enhancement Society
- Nazko First Nation
- Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (UVic)
- Sport Fishing Institute of British Columbia
- Scw'exmx Tribal Council
- Secwepemcul'ecw Restoration and Stewardship Society
- Tides Canada
- Watershed Watch Society
- Pacific Salmon Foundation
- Canadian Wildlife Federation
- British Columbia Cattlemen's Association
- 'Namgis First Nation
- Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation
- Mamalilikulla First Nation
British Columbia projects that are receiving funding through the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund include:
- The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute will engage with Indigenous communities to identify potential large-scale, multi-Nation initiatives that could be supported by BCSRIF. This work will also encourage increased Indigenous involvement in science partnerships, innovation and infrastructure investments that would improve productivity, sustainability, and safety across the sector. The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute will receive up to $385K in funding.
- Led by the British Columbia Conservation Foundation, the "Innovative Habitat Restoration Demonstration" is a multi-year, watershed-scale demonstration project to showcase innovative habitat restoration methods that accommodate the effects of recent ecosystem shifts with benefits to Chinook, coho, sockeye and steelhead. The project will promote restoration, protection and maintenance of healthy and diverse salmon populations and their habitats. The 'Innovative Habitat Restoration Demonstration' will receive nearly $5M (approximately $792K in year 1) in funding.
- The Baker Creek Enhancement Society will collaborate with the Nazko First Nation to undertake restoration of critical habitat affected by the Plateau Fire. This work will also prevent further habitat degradation from normal precipitation and predictable storm events. The Baker Creek Enhancement Society in collaboration with the Nazko First Nation will receive up to $750K (approximately $150K in year 1) in funding.
- The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (UVic) will conduct research to improve our understanding of potential threats to Pacific salmonids and their habitats posed by climate change and develop risk assessment tools to support adaptive regional management approaches. The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (UVic) will receive close to $1M (approximately $113K in year 1) in funding.
- BCSRIF will support elements of the Sport Fishing Institute of British Columbia (SFI) Vision 2021. This is an action plan to maximize the social and economic potential of the recreational fishery on Canada's Pacific coast. The project aims to improve representation of the fishing community and increase participation in the fishing sector by youth, new Canadians and others. SFI will receive up to $701K (approximately $149K in year 1) in funding.
- The Scw'exmx Tribal Council and partners will assess and rehabilitate degraded habitats in the Coldwater River and Guichon Creek watersheds to improve survival of Thompson steelhead and Chinook salmon. The Scw'exmx Tribal Council and partners will receive close to $1.3M (approximately $126K in year 1) in funding.
- The Secwepemcul'ecw Restoration and Stewardship Society, in partnership with Secwepemc communities and the 100 Mile Natural Resource District will undertake restoration of critical habitat affected by the 2017 Elephant Hill Wildfire in the Traditional territories of the 8 Secwepemcul'ecw Nations. The Secwepemcul'ecw Restoration and Stewardship Society, Secwepemc communities and the 100 Mile Natural Resource District will receive nearly $2.6M (approximately $430K in year 1) in funding.
- Tides Canada and the Watershed Watch Society along with other partners, will implement "Connected Waters", a project to identify priority sites requiring infrastructure upgrades and habitat restoration across the Lower Fraser River watershed, which will support the reintegration of vital wild salmon habitats. Tides Canada and the Watershed Watch Society will receive nearly $600k (approximately $232K in year 1) in funding.
- The Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) will conduct a science-based review of hatcheries in the Pacific Region (including community hatcheries and DFO major facilities) to evaluate performance and the effectiveness of current genetic and genomic tools, in order to optimize salmon production in BC. PSF will receive nearly $1.1M (approximately $305K in year 1) in funding.
- The Canadian Wildlife Federation will bring together partners, including federal and provincial governments, non-governmental organizations, First Nations and communities to prioritize fish passage remediation efforts across BC to maximize the benefits for steelhead trout and Pacific salmon. The Canadian Wildlife Federation will receive close to $4M (approximately $1.2M in year 1) in funding.
- The British Columbia Cattlemen's Association will deliver the Farmland Riparian Interface Stewardship Program, promoting habitat restoration and stewardship on agricultural lands in BC. The program will encourage environmental farm planning within the agricultural sector for more "fish friendly" land management practices around riparian corridors, as well as promoting water conservation for BC Interior salmon streams experiencing frequent critical low flows. The British Columbia Cattlemen's Association will receive up to $550K (approximately $110K in year 1) in funding.
- The 'Namgis, Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis, and Mamalilikulla First Nations will partner on activities to assess, prioritize and restore critical salmon habitat in the Nimpkish and Kokish Rivers, Rivers flowing from Bond Sound, Thompson Sound, Wakemen Sound, Viner Sound and Rivers Near Hoyea Sound and Lull Creek. The 'Namgis, Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis, and Mamalilikulla First Nations will receive more than $4.2M (approximately $479K in year 1) in funding.
- The 'Namgis, Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis, and Mamalilikulla First Nations will work together on the first steps towards establishing a genomics lab to analyze samples collected by First Nations with an interest in conducting independent fish health sampling. The 'Namgis, Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis, and Mamalilikulla First Nations will receive approximately $50K in funding.
- The 'Namgis, Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis, and Mamalilikulla First Nations will implement the Broughton First Nations Indigenous Monitoring and Inspection Plan, using BCSRIF support to build monitoring and oversight capacity over finfish farms in the Broughton, capacity to monitor wild salmon, other marine species (and their ecosystems) and to conduct salmon habitat restoration activities. The 'Namgis, Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis, and Mamalilikulla First Nations will receive close to $7.3M (approximately $1.7M in year 1) in funding.
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SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region
For further information: Jocelyn Lubczuk, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, 343-548-7863, Jocelyn.firstname.lastname@example.org; Media Relations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 613-990-7537, Media.email@example.com