Federal funds for habitat enhancement

The federal government added a few more bucks to an ambitious habitat rehabilitation program on the south side of Vedder River this week.

Chilliwack Fraser Canyon MP

The federal government added a few more bucks to an ambitious habitat rehabilitation program on the south side of Vedder River this week.

Mark Strahl, MP for Chilliwack Fraser Canyon announced $46,650 for Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition for the restoration of the Hopedale Floodplain.

The money will add to the nearly $350,000 that has already been spent in the Chilliwack River Valley – money that has helped restore or enhance 35,570 square metres of salmon rearing habitat in the area.

The restoration of the Hopedale Floodplain includes: the creation and enhancement of off-channel salmon spawning and rearing habitats, increasing diversity, planting and re-watering the riparian area, and establishing trails and interpretive signage.

“By partnering with local stakeholders like the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition, our government is making a real difference in the restoration of important salmon habitat,” said Strahl.

The work being done along the riverside near Yarrow involves several groups in addition to the FVWC, including the City of Chilliwack and local Rotary Clubs.

A long term goal is to eventual link the trails on the south side of the Vedder River with the trail the north. That trail – part of the Rotary Trail network – draws about 18,000 people per month during the summer, the city estimates.

The habitat work being done is aimed at providing spawning and rearing areas in protected waters and tributaries along the river.

Federal money released this week is part of the federal government’s “EcoAction Program.”

Since 2006 EcoAction has approved $39 million in funding for 1,006 projects that “engage Canadians in direct environmental activities.” For more information about the EcoAction Community Funding Program visit Environment Canada’s website, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/ecoaction.