CHILLIWACK – New Democrat MLAs Dan Coulter and Kelli Paddon say that funding through BC’s Economic Recovery Plan will help restore ecosystems, wildlife and habitats in the Chilliwack area, ensuring their health and resilience in a changing climate.
Both projects in the area will be led by the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition, with the first restoring the Tom Berry gravel pit into a functional floodplain habitat, providing pacific salmon an easier path down the Fraser River as they migrate to the ocean. This project will also boost and maintain biodiversity by replanting the floodplain ecology with native trees and shrubs.
“It is so important that we protect our natural resources and ecosystems,” said Kelli Paddon, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent. “Our rivers connect our communities and cultures, and the salmon that spawn and migrate through them help feed our families. When government collaborates with Indigenous communities and local organizations, it shows a clear committment to preserving our environment.”
The second project is an Agriculture and Environmental Pilot Program for supporting local and small scale hobby farmers and horse farmers, helping to ensure that farm practices are benefitting the environment, the landowners and the communities.
“The dedication to the environment and community that organizations like the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition demonstrate is incredible,” said Dan Coulter, MLA for Chilliwack. “Passionate folks like these are the heart of British Columbia, and our government knows that when you put funds into the hands of people who care, the results benefit us all.”
These local projects are two of 60 projects dedicated to restoring diverse ecosystems and conserving fish, wildlife and habitat recently announced by the BC New Democrat government. About $10 million is being dedicated to support the projects for species conservation and ecosystem restoration, which will also create more than 350 jobs.
The projects, which are being completed through partnerships with environmental groups, universities, local stewardship organizations and Indigenous communities are part of the BC New Democrat government’s commitment to develop and invest in new strategies aimed at better protecting fish, wildlife and their habitat. Scheduled for completion by December 2021, the projects were identified by provincial government biologists, non-government partners and regional staff with local knowledge of priority needs.
This initiative is part of the province’s COVID-19 response, which includes StrongerBC — a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.
More information about the BC New Democrat government’s species and ecosystems restoration investment can be found by visiting: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021ENV0022-000516