Several Parksville Qualicum Beach salmon initiatives moved forward this year, with the help of grants from the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) and local businesses and residents.
The money came from PSF’s Community Salmon Program, which is funded through sales of the federal government’s Salmon Conservation Stamp and revenue from fundraising galas like the upcoming Oceanside Dinner/Dance & Auction on Saturday, Jan. 26.
The Community Salmon Program supports volunteer-led streamkeeping projects that restore salmon habitat, enhance fisheries and deliver salmon education programs. Since inception, the gala has helped provide grants of $574,000 to 79 local salmon projects. But, thanks to matching cash and in-kind support from the community, the total value of these projects was actually $2.7 million.
A noteable project, completed in Fall 2018, was the Seaside Park Faye Smith Rosenblatt Memorial Pavilion, which replaced the well-worn “Brant Viewing Platform” at the west end of Qualicum Beach.
“Faye was a tireless leader and community advocate for wild salmon,” said Dr. Brian Riddell, CEO of PSF. “Supporting dedicated volunteers like Faye is why PSF was formed in the first place. It was an honour to contribute to a project that pays tribute to her legacy.”
The Friends of French Creek Conservation Society also received a grant to monitor pedestrian traffic in the French Creek estuary between Parksville and Qualicum. Trail counters monitored human use of the estuary this summer to determine if measures need to be taken to protect sensitive habitat areas.
Finally, some initiatives through PSF’s Salish Sea Marine Survival Project continued this year, including:
Monitoring of changing ecosystem dynamics in the Strait of Georgia through the Project’s Citizen Science Program. Volunteers from Qualicum outfitted their own boat with special equipment to take oceanographic measurements; and,
chinook research at the Big Qualicum Hatchery to investigate how the size of young fish and timing of movement into the estuary affect survival.
Tickets to the Jan. 26 dinner are $75 each and can be purchased online at http://www.psf.ca or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.664.7664.
— Submitted by The Pacific Salmon Foundation