Government of Canada makes a significant coastal restoration fund investment in Fraser River Estuary in British Columbia through the Oceans Protection Plan
Sea Island, British Columbia – The protection and restoration of the environment is a top priority of the Government of Canada, which is providing resources through the Oceans Protection Plan that will make our oceans and coasts safer, cleaner and healthier for the benefit of all Canadians and future generations.
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Member of Parliament for Delta and Minister of Public Services and Procurement, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced today that the Raincoast Conservation Foundation will receive $2,658,217 over five years for a project to help restore coastal habitats in the Fraser River Estuary of British Columbia.
The Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s estuary connectivity project will improve connectivity and natural processes on the banks of the Fraser River Estuary for the benefit of juvenile chinook, pink and chum salmon, as well as other fish species, and the species which rely on them. The work will involve the collaborative efforts of many people working and living on the lower Fraser River.
In May 2017, the Government of Canada announced the $75 million Coastal Restoration Fund to help rehabilitate some of our most vulnerable coastlines and protect marine life and ecosystems. The Coastal Restoration Fund, under the responsibility of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, supports projects that contribute to coastal restoration on all of Canada’s coasts, with preference given to projects that are multiyear and involve a broad number of partners, including Indigenous groups.
The Coastal Restoration Fund is part of the $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan ─ the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. In collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities, the Government of Canada is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coasts and waterways for generations to come.
“Our government is committed to protecting our coasts – that’s why we announced the Oceans Protection Plan, which will make our oceans and coasts safer, cleaner and healthier. The $75 million Coastal Restoration Fund provides an opportunity to address threats to our ocean and coastal areas. I am pleased that our collaboration with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation will ensure healthy, thriving coastal ecosystems in the Fraser River Estuary of British Columbia for future generations.”
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“I am proud to support this Coastal Restoration Fund project that will protect British Columbia’s biodiversity and restore important salmon habitats. Our funding will facilitate collaborative efforts to carry out this essential work along the Fraser River.”
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement
“Our investment to restore coastal habitats in the Fraser River Estuary will not only benefit salmon but also the species which rely on them. Moreover, the work being undertaken by Raincoast Conservation Foundation will foster many collaborations by people in the local community.”
Jati Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Mission – Matsqui – Fraser Canyon
"We are excited for the support provided by the Coastal Restoration Fund and the opportunity to carry out this ambitious project. The loss and alienation of salmon habitat in the Lower Fraser River affects many salmon populations. This is an initial, but bold step to help reconnect key habitat for wild salmon."
Misty MacDuffee, Wild Salmon Program Director for Raincoast Conservation Foundation
Tidal marsh habitats in the Fraser estuary provide productive rearing areas for juvenile salmon, but have been reduced to a fraction of their historic area through infill and development activities.
Numerous training walls and rock jetties constructed in the Fraser River (e.g. North Arm, Iona, Steveston) have changed salinity, temperature, and sedimentation patterns in the estuary, which has led to the erosion of marsh channels, poor growing conditions and limited access for juvenile salmon.
The Restoring Estuary Connectivity on the Delta of the Fraser River Estuary project will reconfigure key impediments to connectivity in the Fraser estuary (e.g. North Arm and Steveston jetties, Iona causeway) to restore freshwater benefits in the Fraser estuary, improve marsh habitat conditions, and provide broader access for juvenile salmon, potentially improving their early marine survival.
This project has the potential to improve food availability within the critical habitat of endangered Southern Resident killer whales.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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