In 2005 a train derailment caused a CN freight train to spill caustic soda into the Cheakamus River, killing hundreds of thousands of salmon and impacting vital salmon habitat. Following the event, CN partnered with the Pacific Salmon Foundation through a donation of $1.25 million donation over five years. The funds were used to implement the Foundation's Squamish River Watershed Recovery Plan, which included recovery of the Cheakamus River habitat. The plan was part of several watershed-based recovery plans in the three main priority regions of the province - the Thompson-Shuswap, Georgia Basin and Central Coast. The recovery plans were the first time salmon in B.C. had been addressed at the watershed level taking into account issues such as fish habitat, harvest impacts, potential for recovery, ability for local delivery and potential to leverage other funding. Since then, the Foundation has pursued other watershed-level programs including the historical Fraser Salmon and Watershed Program and the current Skeena Salmon Watershed Program.
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