Volunteers ensure a future for wild salmon

Pacific Salmon Foundation

The Sunshine Coast’s 175 kilometres of protected coastline make it a paradise for fishermen and the salmon they come to find. The inlets and bays enable underwater plants like eelgrass and marine species to flourish protected from the intense waves of the open sea. Eelgrass provides shelter for young salmon from predators like shoreline birds and seals, and supports small marine creatures that salmon eat. 

“Salmon are a keystone species here. But they need our help to survive and our creeks need to be protected,” said Shirley Samples, a volunteer with the Sunshine Coast Streamkeepers Society. “Our goal is to have each creek on the Sunshine Coast with its own group of advocates.” 

article continues below

More than 130 different plants and animals in B.C. depend on Pacific salmon for survival. Fortunately, the Sunshine Coast has a network of volunteer stewards supported by the Pacific Salmon Foundation and local donors. Grants to volunteer non-profit groups have exceeded $175,000 since 1989. Matching donations from local businesses and individuals bring that investment up to over $1 million. 

Volunteers are also restoring eelgrass habitat on the Sunshine Coast in partnership with Seachange Marine Conservation Society. Only about four per cent of B.C.’s coast is suitable for eelgrass, making it vital to protect existing meadows. But, just as estuaries are meccas for salmon, they are also hotspots for human activity and resulting garbage that damages eelgrass plants. 

Dianne Sanford is the Sunshine Coast coordinator for cleanup efforts that began last year in Porpoise Bay. “We removed 11,530 pounds of marine debris over the course of 15 dive days including everything from netting, traps, outboard motors, old computers and more,” she said. Over the next few years, Porpoise Bay and other eelgrass-rich habitats will be restored. 

The Foundation and local conservation groups rely on donations of time, money or both. Made now or in the future, such as a gift in a will, all donations help ensure that wild salmon thrive.

On Tuesday, Sept. 10, the Foundation is sponsoring a free estate planning roundtable, presented by Spencer Keys of Charthouse Lawyers. The program will run from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Seaside Centre in Sechelt. Attendees can RSVP the Foundation’s Margaret Buttner at: 604-664-7664 or mbuttner@psf.ca to secure a seat. 

Local groups including the Sunshine Coast Streamkeepers Society will also be on hand to share information, local events and volunteer opportunities.

– Submitted by the Pacific Salmon Foundation


© Copyright Coast Reporter


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Coast Reporter welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus


Do you think we will emerge as a better society as a result of the pandemic?

or  view results