The hard work of a Courtenay organization, passionate about protecting local wetlands and devoted to restoration efforts, has earned it a prestigious conservation award.
The Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association is the winner of the Province of British Columbia and Ducks Unlimited Canada Conservation Award for 2014-15.
The award recognizes the dedication and contributions of an organization for all of its conservation work.
The non-profit community organization is made up of approximately 2,500 members dedicated to conservation, restoration and wildlife management.
Members help run a hatchery to re-stock the Trent River, lead habitat restoration projects in local streams and every spring, clear an average of 8,000 kilograms of garbage from the roadside.
Association members also monitor fish stocks in local lakes, help trap and relocate Roosevelt elk throughout Vancouver Island and award two $1,000 bursaries to local high school students each year. Members are also B.C. Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education Program instructors, teaching conservation principles to the public.
Their wide range of conservation and education efforts, including their outstanding volunteer service and understanding of wetland ecosystems and their benefits to waterfowl, wildlife and people, made them the top choice for this year’s award.
“I applaud the hard work of the Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association to help preserve wetlands and restore fish and wildlife habitats for future generations to enjoy,” said Minister of Environment Mary Polak, who was on hand at the presentation Friday. “Wetlands are one of the most important life support systems on Earth, and preserving them is critical.
“In B.C., wetlands are an essential habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife. Wetlands also help keep the environment healthy – from filtering our water to maintaining stream flows.”
The Ministry of Environment and Ducks Unlimited Canada are proud to honour the Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association, which embodies the environmental practices that inspire others to conserve wetlands in B.C. and across the country.