Tawney Lem and Sheena Falconer from West Coast Aquatic join MP Gord Johns at Ottawa’s Parliament.

$15M request for West Coast Aquatic fish habitat

WCA executive directors travelled to Ottawa Nov. 18 to meet with federal fisheries staff and ask for $15 million over 10 years.

West Coast Aquatic is asking for $15 million from the federal government to put its Somass River habitat restoration plan into action.

Executive directors Sheena Falconer and Tawney Lem travelled to Ottawa Nov. 18 to meet with federal fisheries staff and ask for $15 million over 10 years to support fisheries management roundtables, implementation of the Somass Integrated Habitat Restoration Plan and inclusion in the Fisheries Protection Act process.

The meeting with ministry staff followed Falconer’s presentation to the federal finance committee pre-budget 2017 sessions in Kelowna last month.

Through a multi-stakeholder roundtable process, a risk assessment was conducted to determine the limiting factors for salmon production in the Somass.

The restoration plan was commissioned by a third party, and what came out of it is that $15 million of habitat restoration is required to repair past damage and support healthy salmon runs, Falconer said.

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns helped pave the way for Falconer and Lem in Ottawa, and he also met with Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss the Somass fishery.

Falconer said WCA is seeking the full $15 million amount it will take to implement the Somass habitat restoration project.

“This area needs habitat restoration. In other regions millions of dollars have been spent in salmon restoration. Here, it’s been us and the AVEA (Alberni Valley Enhancement Association) spending time writing grants,” Falconer said.

“We have a fishery here that’s pretty critical. I don’t think us searching around for grants is productive.”

The Somass region is home to one of BC’s largest sockeye salmon returns, she said, and provides important economic, social and cultural benefit to the region.

If approved, Falconer and Lem expect that $1.5 million annually will support the governance and restoration work necessary to ensure sustainable regional fisheries.

“We’re pretty hopeful we’re going to get this funding,” she added. “We’ve got a good framework and we’ve got a good plan. We’ve had good interviews.”

Their plan is also “shovel ready”, meaning as soon as it’s funded it can be put into place.

“It’s one of the largest fisheries in BC and it’s not getting the same amount of money other fisheries are, and we need to rectify it.”

editor@albernivalleynews.com

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

twitter.com/alberninews

 

Just Posted

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Battle of the Bands winner set to perform at Char’s Landing

Sean Lyons is a singer-songwriter originally from Port Alberni

Port Alberni sends large contingent of athletes to Special Olympics Winter Games

Veteran curler Simone Myers dreams of gold in her seventh provincials

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

Most Read