HSBC Bank Canada's Donation Keeps Fraser River Sturgeon Education Program Swimming

    VANCOUVER, June 18 /CNW/ - The Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society
(the Society) is delighted to announce that HSBC Bank Canada has renewed its
support to the Society for the delivery of the HSBC Fraser River Sturgeon
Education Program to elementary students and First Nations' communities, in
BC, for another two years, with a generous $100,000 donation.
    The initial two-year sponsorship from HSBC Bank Canada enabled the
Society to develop and pilot the delivery of the innovative program, which
uses the culturally and ecologically significant white sturgeon to teach and
illustrate the rationale for environmental and ecological conservation.
    "The white sturgeon is a fascinating, ancient creature that really
captures the imagination of young people," said Society Chair Rick Hansen.
"The more they learn about the species, and its role in the history of this
province, the keener they become in understanding and participating in habitat
protection and environmental responsibility."
    White sturgeon are the largest and longest-lived species of freshwater
fish in North America. A survivor from the age of the dinosaurs, white
sturgeon can attain lengths in excess of six meters, weights of over 600
kilograms, and can live for over 150 years. The ancient fish is at the top of
the Fraser River food web, and one of the few year-round resident species of
fish in the lower Fraser River. The population of white sturgeon in the lower
Fraser River (downstream of Hell's Gate) is a fraction of its historic levels.
Full recovery of this threatened species is expected to take a minimum of 30
    Lindsay Gordon, President and Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Bank Canada,
said "HSBC has a deep commitment to the environment, so we are pleased to
continue to support the HSBC Fraser River Sturgeon Education Program for
children. We hope that elementary school students and others will gain a
deeper appreciation of the importance of the environment through their
understanding of the white sturgeon and the Fraser River."
    In its two-year history, the HSBC Fraser River Sturgeon Education Program
has been taught by 113 teachers from 82 different schools to approximately
3400 students in Grades 4 through 7. The Program will expand to 140 classrooms
and approximately 4200 students in the 2007-2008 school year, and 200
classrooms and approximately 6000 students in 2008-2009. Twenty copies of an
award-winning book, "Tale of a Great White Fish," are provided to each
classroom that teaches the HSBC-sponsored Program.

    Rick Hansen founded the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society in
1997 with a mandate to conserve and protect Fraser River white sturgeon and
their habitat. The Society includes representatives from provincial, federal
and First Nations' governments. For more information on the Society and the
HSBC-sponsored Program, please visit

For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: Don Lintott, Fraser River
Sturgeon Conservation Society, Project Manager, Tel: (604) 241-9971; Ernest
Yee, Assistant Vice President, Public Affairs, HSBC Bank Canada, Tel: (604)

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