MAPLE RIDGE – The Pacific Salmon Foundation announced that the Alouette River Management Society is the recipient of Community Salmon Program grants totaling almost $7,000. The announcement was made at the Allco Fish Hatchery in Maple Ridge on Monday, August 18 with MP Randy Kamp (Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission), who is also the parliamentary secretary for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The grants contribute to an overall budget of more than $35,000 for two projects at the hatchery.
The first project involves replacing broken discharge valves to ensure that water can run from all hatchery ponds back into the Alouette River. The second project will see development of an information kiosk to tell visitors the story of the Allco Fish Fence, which was installed 14 years ago and is a critical part of the annual count of returning sockeye salmon. B.C. Corrections inmates from the Allco Hatchery participate in both projects.
"Our granting model is designed to maximize community engagement and shared resources," said Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. "The Alouette River Management Society’s projects fit in perfectly with these strategic goals by delivering education to the broader public and sharing resources with numerous local stakeholders including Fisheries and Oceans Canada, First Nations, and B.C. Corrections.
"The sockeye only started returning in 2007 following an 80-year absence," said Greta Borick-Cunningham, executive director of the society. "The hatchery and fish fence are key to enhancing, monitoring and managing those stocks. Indeed, the program has been so successful we are now at the stage of submitting a business proposal to BC Hydro to build fish passage over the dam so that sockeye and other salmon species can access the upper Alouette system – habitat that has been cut off for nearly 90 years."
This year, the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Community Salmon Program will provide $1.5 million in grants to 121 projects in 72 communities across British Columbia. The total value of the projects including volunteer time and community fundraising is $9.1 million. In the Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge/Mission area alone, more than $33,000 is being provided to a total of five projects, with a total value of more than $108,000.
"The work done by the Alouette River Management Society and other such groups in our communities is critical to the future of wild Pacific salmon," said MP Randy Kamp (Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission), parliamentary secretary for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. "You can see it here at Allco, as these projects will help with the return of sockeye and ensure people understand how that occurs every year. I want to personally congratulate the society for their efforts, and also thank the Pacific Salmon Foundation for its continued support for salmon."
Funding for the Community Salmon Program is generated through sales of the federal Recreational Fisheries Conservation Stamp, the decal that must be purchased annually through Fisheries and Oceans Canada by anglers if they wish to keep Pacific salmon caught in saltwater off of Canada’s West Coast. Revenues from the Salmon Conservation Stamp have totaled $7.75 million since 1989. In 2013, the Pacific Salmon Foundation worked with B.C.MP’s to return 100 per cent of Salmon Conservation Stamp income to British Columbia through the federal budgeting process, which will generate an additional $1 million for community grants annually.
The Community Salmon Program supports thousands of volunteers who give countless hours each year to monitor watersheds, develop and implement habitat rehabilitation projects, and educate communities about the conservation and protection of salmon. Since its inception in 1987, the Foundation has provided $41.3 million in project awards and grants to a total of 2,262 projects that have involved more than 35,000 community volunteers.
About the Pacific Salmon Foundation:
The Pacific Salmon Foundation was created in 1987 as an independent, non-governmental, charitable organization to protect, conserve and rebuild Pacific salmon populations in British Columbia and the Yukon. The Foundation’s mission is to be the trusted voice for conservation and restoration of wild Pacific salmon and their ecosystems and works to bring salmon back stream by stream through the strategic use of resources and local communities. www.psf.ca
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