Cultus Lake/Mission/Chilliwack/Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge – Parliamentary Secretary Randy Kamp, Member of Parliament for Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission, and Parliamentary Secretary Mark Strahl, Member of Parliament for Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, on behalf of the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, highlighted the Government of Canada’s investment in restoring salmon habitat around Chilliwack and Mission.
Through the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program (RFCPP), the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition will receive up to $313,330 towards restoring salmon habitat in the Vedder River Floodplain (Browne Creek, Stewart Creek and Trestle Channel) and the Stave River Watershed. Salmon habitat restoration work in the Vedder River Floodplain is part of a multi-year, multi-phase project that will restore and enhance 3,000 m2 of rearing habitat and 4,000 m2 of riparian habitat in the floodplain. In the Stave Lake Watershed, the restoration work includes sustaining water in spawning channels, increasing gravel levels, and planting native vegetation in riparian areas. Both projects aim to also increase the number of salmon returning to the area.
The Pacific Salmon Foundation will receive up to $61,400 to restore a fish passage on the Bench Forest Service Road by replacing a culvert that has impeded fish passage near the Chilliwack River Confluence.
Part of the National Conservation Plan, the RFCPP was created in 2013 to restore Canada’s recreational fisheries habitat and support the sustainability and ongoing productivity of our recreational fisheries. The program proved immediately successful, prompting the Government of Canada to increase its investment through Economic Action Plans 2014 and 2015 to a total of $55 million until 2018-2019.
The Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition and the Pacific Salmon Foundation will contribute to the conservation and restoration of our country’s natural environment. Under the fourth round of RFCPP, up to $4,851,129 has been made available for 61 projects in British Columbia.
Since 2006, the Government of Canada has taken important steps to conserve and restore our country’s natural environment and connect Canadians to our rich natural heritage. The RFCPP Web site provides further details.
MP Strahl also announced an infrastructure funding investment of approximately $375,000 for facility improvements at the Cultus Lake Salmon Research Laboratory in Chilliwack. This funding is part of the $5.8 billion in new investments that will continue to build and renew existing infrastructure and important assets across the country announced in November 2014 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
· Since the launch of the RFCPP program in 2013, almost $16 million has already been committed to more than 280 projects across Canada.
· Under the fourth round of RFCPP, almost $10.4 million was committed to 180 projects to be undertaken nationally between 2015 and 2016.
· Recreational fishing contributes significantly to the Canadian economy, especially in rural areas. In 2010, for example, angling generated $8.3 billion for local economies.
· The fifth round of funding applications will be open from October 26 to December 16, 2015.