News Release #98 - 14

June 10, 1998



VICTORIA - Sixty-one community groups, schools and local governments are restoring and enhancing urban salmon streams in the Georgia Basin with more than $1 million in help from the urban salmon habitat program, Fisheries Minister Dennis Streifel and Environment, Lands and Parks Minister Cathy McGregor announced today.

"British Columbians are getting directly involved in streamside work and demonstrating their commitment to saving salmon, especially the endangered coho salmon," said Streifel. "The majority of these urban streams were once teeming with coho salmon. Our goal is to bring these streams back to life."

"The protection and restoration of fish habitat in our urban areas is critical to sustaining our environment, jobs and communities," said McGregor. "It is essential that we act now to ensure that healthy, productive streamside areas remain a part of B.C’s landscape."

"One of the primary concerns of my new ministry is to address the need to restore and protect fish and fish habitat from expanding urban and industrial development," said Streifel. "At a time when salmon stocks, especially coho stocks, are in serious trouble, the need has never been more urgent for communities and government to work together to restore and enhance salmon habitat."

Total finding for the program this year is $1 million The program has two components community stewardship and local government involvement. Through the community stewardship component of the program, 36 community groups and schools will share $537,921 for projects to protect, enhance and raise public awareness of salmon and their habitats. Twenty-five local governments will share $536,495 for cost-shared funding for environmental projects to protect salmon streams.

The five-year urban salmon habitat program was launched in the fall of 1995. The program’s principal goals are to ensure sustainable wild stocks and habitats in the Georgia Basin, build effective partnerships with other levels of government, encourage community involvement and increase public awareness of salmon and their habitats. The program is part of the broader provincial B.C. fisheries strategy and complements initiatives such as the new Fish Protection Act, Forest Renewal, B.C. ‘s watershed restoration program and the Forest Practices Code.

Editors and News Directors Note: Backgrounder on projects attached.

Contact: Laura Stringer

Director of Communications

Ministry of Fisheries

(250) 356-5126



Vancouver Island Projects

The Urban Salmon Habitat Program is a five-year, multi-million dollar program to protect and restore salmon streams threatened by urban development in the Georgia Basin. The program provides funding and technical resources to community groups and local government for salmon conservation efforts. The program consists of two components: the Community Stewardship component and the Local Government Environmental Co-ordination component.

This year, 23 community groups and schools will share $269,795 for projects on Vancouver Island. As well, 12 Vancouver Island local governments will receive $266,495 for cost-shared funding of environmental programs to protect salmon streams.

For the name and telephone number of the project co-ordinator for any of the following projects, please contact Christine Rushforth, Ministry of Fisheries Communication Coordinator at (250) 356-5151.


Capital Regional District

Island Stream and Salmon Enhancement Society $9,040

Continuing restoration work on several small Saltspring Island streams including building trout/salmon spawning platforms in Bullocks, Duck and Mansell creeks and constructing rearing habitat in a tributary to Okano Creek. This complements a DFO coho enhancement facility.

University of Victoria Restoration of Natural Systems Program $30,000

Continuing a project to monitor USHP mapping, assessment and restoration projects. This is done in conjunction with Camosun, Malaspina University and North Island colleges.

Society for the Protection of Ayum Creek $24,215

Continuing a project to protect Ayum Creek including construction of rock weirs to create rearing fish habitat and a community awareness initiative. This is a coho creek.

School District #61 (Greater Victoria) $5,325

An environmental education project focused on the Colquitz watershed will be expanded through field trips and watershed celebrations in the district’s high school science, technology and career preparation courses. This is a long-term education project based on a stream with coho populations.

Galiano Conservancy Association $9,000

A project to assess and map streams on Galiano Island.

Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society $4,650

A project to create public awareness of fish habitat and reduce runoff from neighborhood homes.

Bilston Watershed Habitat Protection Association $11,250

Phase four of a restoration and enhancement project on Bilston Creek and its tributaries. The project involves studies of fish population, determining pollution sources and starting an education and awareness program.

Cowichan Valley Regional District

Chemainus Rod and Gun Club $6,430

A new project to assess Stocking Creek and identification of coho salmon restoration and enhancement opportunities. This is a moderate coho production system.

Nanaimo Regional District

Nanaimo Fish and Game Protective Association $22,013

An assessment, restoration and fencing project on Thatcher Creek. A highly productive coho system.

Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers Society $9,345

Continuation of instream works and revegetation in the riparian zone and erosion control on Grandon Creek. Grandon is a coho creek.

Trout Unlimited Canada, Nanaimo Chapter $3,360

A project to restore habitat and remove barriers restricting fish movements in Wexford Creek. Wexford is a coho creek.

Comox-Strathcona Regional District

Comox Valley Project Watershed Society $17,025

A project targeted at steam-side revegetation and reducing livestock impacts on creeks in five watersheds in the Comox Valley. The project will create public awareness, education and establish landowner contact. These watersheds are all high coho production systems.

Courtenay Fish and Game Protective Association $2,960

Continuing a project to restore Arden Creek and create additional rearing habitat and stop bank erosion. Good coho production in Arden Creek.

Denman Conservancy Association $6,570

A salmon habitat and stewardship project on Denman Island involving surveying fish and fish habitat and continuing a landowner contact program. Moderate cohn values are being enhanced with this project.

Discovery Coast Greenways Land Trust $13,725

A project to conduct mapping and fish and habitat assessment on Nunns Creek and to start a landowner contact and public awareness campaign. This is a good cohn production system.

Millard/Piercy Watershed Stewards $18,252

Continuing a project to develop and implement a watershed management plan and complete the

Millard/Piercy habitat assessment. This is a valuable cohn watershed.

Willow Creek Watershed Society $17,095

Continuing a rehabilitation and education project and developing a five-year restoration plan for Willow Creek. Work includes riparian planting, a public awareness plan and establishing landowner contact. A highly productive coho stream.

Oyster River Watershed Management Committee $10,080

Habitat restoration on Upper Bear Creek including bank and riparian vegetation restoration and enhancement works and a public awareness initiative. Little Oyster River is an important coho tributary.

Oyster Bay Streamkeepers $5,530

Continuing the assessment, mapping and restoration of streams in the Oyster River watershed. There are seven moderate coho production systems in this watershed.

Portuguese Creek Watershed Stewards $5,080

Continuing the project to supplement flows in Portuguese Creek and improve rearing habitat. This is a good coho production system.

Fanny Bay Salmon Enhancement Society $21,600

A project to restore streams and conduct mapping and inventory in the Fanny Bay/Bowser area. There are coho in all the streams in this area.

Little River Enhancement Society $5,850

A habitat skills training project, mapping and assessing Tweedy, Apple and Spence creeks. There are coho in all three creeks.

Stone Creek Streamkeepers $11,400

A project to complete stream assessment and restoration work in Woods Creek (between Oyster River and Campbell River). There are high densities of coho present in Woods Creek. DFO has a coho enhancement project on this system.



Campbell River $30,000

The grant will continue to fund an environmental planner position supporting the Estuary Management Commission, land-use and stormwater management regulatory and review processes and public education.

Central Saanich $2,000

A project to develop fisheries-sensitive land-use and management policies as part of updating the Official Community Plan.

Comox-Strathcona (Regional District) $40,000

Continuing funding for supporting the protection of fish habitat under the District/BC Environment/DFO Aquatic Habitat Planning and Management MOU.

Cowichan Valley (Regional District) $32,925

The trrant will fund an environmental planner position to assist with the preparation of the Official Community Plan and development permit policies and bylaws aimed at protecting riparian areas and fisheries-sensitive zones. The planner will also complete a steam mapping project.

Cumberland $10,000

A project to develop a stormwater management study for wetlands and fisheries habitat to update the Official Community Plan.

Ladysmith $10,000

A project to develop and incorporate environmental protection guidelines into the Holland Creek local area plan.

Nanaimo (City) $30,570

The grant will continue to fund an environmental co-ordinator position with a responsibility for reviewing development proposals, developing a MOU with BC Environment and DFO on environmental referral processes, enforcing aquatic protection bylaws and working on a sediment control bylaw.

Nanaimo (Regional District) $24,000

A project to protect fish habitat through the Regional Growth Management Plan and new Official Community Plan policies. The District will also conduct subdivision/parkland review and evaluate development permit/variance applications.

North Cowichan $12,000

A project to update the environmental component of the Official Community Plan and develop regulatory tools and bylaws.

Parksville (City) $27,000

A project to develop regulatory tools to protect fisheries habitat, compile environmental information into a database and start a public awareness program.

Qualicum Beach $8,000

A project to review and update aspects of the Official Community Plan which relate to fish habitat.

Saanich $40,000

A project to update bylaws and local area planning, map environmentally sensitive areas and initiate public education processes to support fish habitat protection.

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