Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard has announced funding for a new Comox Valley-based project under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF), a $142.8 million initiative over five years dedicated to restoring wild salmon populations. Leonard represented Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham Monday at a joint federal-provincial announcement in Langford.
“In the Comox Valley – and across B.C. – wild salmon are a part of who we are,” said Leonard. “Our community has been calling for this important conservation work to happen, and I was happy to be part of making recommendations to government. By funding this project we are taking key steps towards understanding the behaviour of our wild salmon, so that we can better protect this iconic species.”
Leonard said the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society, along with the K’ómoks First Nation, North Island College and other partners, will use the funding to apply and test tools for identifying, mapping and quantifying important forage fish populations and their habitats. This work will contribute to the conservation of important food sources for Pacific salmon, including chinook and coho.
Leonard added that the funding aligns with key recommendations from a 2019 Wild Salmon Advisory Council report, which called on government to focus on near-term actions that could address the immediate needs of wild salmon and their habitats. It also delivers on the Province’s commitment to revitalize and protect wild salmon, which will provide greater economic certainty for B.C.’s coastal communities.