Two projects near Chilliwack will receive funding from the Environmental Damages Fund, including one featuring fish habitat restoration on the Vedder River, a section of which is seen here. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

Fish habitat the focus of federal funding in the Fraser River system

Two projects out of 22 across Canada zero in on the importance or protecting or restoring habitat

Among the 22 projects getting the go-ahead from the federal Environmental Damages Fund, two are focused on restoring fish habitat in the Fraser River watershed.

Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition (FVWC) received word of funding in the amount of $189,176 for their proposed restoration project to protect, conserve or restore fish habitat in the Fraser system.

“We are grateful to have received funds from Environment Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund and Pacific Salmon Foundation,” Natashia Cox, program director with FVWC.

They are forging ahead with restoration and enhancement of salmon habitat using floodplain ecology along the Vedder River near Chilliwack, “a river that is essential” for fish, wildlife and the region, Cox says.

“This year, we plan to create an off-channel pond to support rearing and over-wintering salmon, extend a groundwater spawning channel, complete adaptive management needs and plant native trees and shrubs with the help of our community volunteers.”

The second project to focus on fish-habitat restoration is the one from British Columbia Conservation Foundation, with a grant of $95,824. It will help protect, and restore fish habitat in the Fraser River watershed through the development of a stream-mapping database for the Lower Fraser River Valley.

“The BCCF project aims to prioritize fish-habitat restoration projects for areas affected by the cumulative impacts of activities including transportation, industrial and residential development and agricultural activities.”

The Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) through Environment and Climate Change Canada is built on the premise that environmental good must follow environmental harm.

It’s considered an “effective way of responding to environmental damage” by directing funds received from fines, court orders, and voluntary payments from environmental violations, to carry out projects that benefit our natural environment.

The most recent round of funding saw 22 projects greenlighted in eight provinces and territories across Canada—four in Alberta, three in British Columbia, five in Newfoundland and Labrador, two in Nova Scotia, one in Nunavut, one in Ontario, five in Québec, and one in Saskatchewan.

READ MORE: Lower Fraser fish get some help

READ MORE: Cleaning up the Chilliwack-Vedder River


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