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Local Salmon Conservation Gets Boost from Oceanside GalaBy Pacific Salmon Foundation,
The Pacific Salmon Foundation's annual Oceanside Dinner, Dance & Auction on Saturday, January 31 is shaping up to be another great event for salmon-loving locals in the area. Funds raised will be directed to local Pacific salmon conservation, enhancement, and restoration activities through the Foundation's flagship Community Salmon Program. Through the years, dinner attendees, donors and sponsors of the event have made a real difference by supporting the work of local volunteer streamkeepers that protect salmon habitat and deliver educational initiatives.
Since 1999, the Pacific Salmon Foundation has granted more than $460,000 to 70 volunteer-driven salmon projects in the Parksville/Qualicum region. Through partnerships at the community level, volunteers have leveraged the funds for a total value of nearly $2.9 million.
Oceanside Projects Funded in 2014
In 2014, four local streamkeeping groups received more than $60,000 in funds which they leveraged for a total value of more than $174,000. The Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society received more than $14,000 to increase spawning and rearing habitat on Centre Creek, and plant more trees on stream banks. The Friends of French Creek received $6,000 to improve salmon habitat on French Creek by increasing bank stability, planting native plants, creating deeper in-stream pools for refuge from predators, and depositing gravel on the streambed to support aquatic insects that salmon eat. The Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers Society received more than $6,500 to protect spawning habitat in Grandon Creek by adding gravel, and building pools that slow water. Funds also supported planting of 200 seedlings. The Nile Creek Streamkeepers received almost $34,000 for two projects. One project saw restoration and research of bull kelp beds in Lambert Channel and Baynes Sound. The other project involved restoration, monitoring and mapping of eelgrass beds in Bowser at the southern end of Baynes Sound.
Salmon Stamp Dollars at Work
Funding for the Community Salmon Program is generated through sales of the federal Salmon Conservation Stamp, the decal that must be purchased annually through Fisheries and Oceans Canada by anglers if they wish to keep Pacific salmon caught in saltwater off of Canada's West Coast. Revenues from the Salmon Conservation Stamp have totaled more than $7.75 million since 1989. In 2013, the Pacific Salmon Foundation worked with MP James Lunney (Nanaimo-Port Alberni) and other B.C. MP's to return 100 per cent of Salmon Conservation Stamp income to British Columbia through the federal budgeting process. Thanks to this change, an additional $1 million is available for community salmon grants annually.
Dining, Dancing and Bidding for Salmon
The dinner will kick off at 5:30 pm with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by dinner at 7:00 pm and a live auction at 8:30 pm. The event will feature delicious seafood appetizers, a gourmet buffet dinner, and exciting raffles & auctions followed by dancing and live music. Tickets for the event are $60 each and tables of ten are available for $550. Tickets can be purchased at Gone Fishin' (2980 North Island Highway, Nanaimo), Salish Sea Market (110 – 6996 West Island Highway, Bowser) or by contacting Al Ehrenberg at email@example.com or 250.752.1083.