Initiative to Support Skeena River Salmon Announced
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
The Skeena River Salmon Enhancement Program dedicates $1 million from PRPA’s Community Investment Fund specifically to partner with local organizations on projects that increase salmon stock productivity and the maintenance and rehabilitation of critical habitat in the Skeena River watershed. The fund will also seek to support innovative pilot projects that will achieve these objectives and support the health, resilience, and sustainability of Skeena River salmon during this International Year of the Salmon.
The program is focused on working with regional partners such as First Nations, non-governmental organizations, and community groups. The program also provides the opportunity to partner with other agencies and organizations leading similar initiatives to leverage additional financial resources toward this important priority. In addition to monetary support, PRPA is also seeking ways to share capacity and data from its existing environmental stewardship programs to enhance new and existing salmon-related initiatives.
PRPA recognizes that a healthy salmon population is vital to not only the community of Prince Rupert, but to the entire northwest region. Its importance to the economic, environmental, social, and cultural fabric of our communities, in particular First Nations peoples, has justified its inclusion as a focus for PRPA’s community investment. The organization wants to be part of a local solution to address some of the critical challenges that are facing Skeena salmon.
“The Prince Rupert Port Authority has seen many projects come to fruition and make a difference through our Community Investment Fund. Dedicating resources entirely to salmon and their habitat will hopefully see similar success in an area that requires extra focus,” said Shaun Stevenson, President & CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “We take our commitment to the environment seriously, and a strong salmon population is crucial to a healthy ecosystem on the north coast and ultimately, a healthy community.”
The program is ready to start evaluating relevant initiatives immediately, and PRPA asks that any group working in salmon enhancement and protection to contact them to discuss their projects. PRPA will also be conducting outreach in the coming weeks to familiarize northwest hatcheries, non-governmental organizations, and relevant community groups about the program.