Environmental group receives grant from salmon conservation organization

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN, PHOTO</p><p>Brooke Nodding of the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation, right, with Stephen Chase of the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation and local MP Bernadette Jordan share a light moment during a ceremonial cheque presentation. The Salmon group announced August 21 in Bridgewater that the Bluenose Coastal organization was receiving a $12,500 grant toward work concerning the LaHave River watershed.</p>

A Lunenburg-based environmental stewardship charity received $12,500 from another charity - this one supporting the conservation and habitat of wild Atlantic Salmon - to help carry out assessments, restore fish habitat and develop a special database.

The charity-to-charity cash from the New Brunswick-based Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation (ASCF) assists the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation (BCAF) in its work to map and identify stream-crossing structures such as bridges and culverts and any barriers to fish passage.

The work also includes developing a blueprint that sets out details prioritizing restoration areas and creating a geo-database containing points about invasive species and other information.

The money, announced during an August 21 news conference on the Centennial Trail Bridge over looking the LaHave River, also contributes to BCAF's ability to complete an earlier fish habitat restoration project in the Pinehurst/Wentzells Lake area.

"Previous work on this stream has included a culvert restoration, installation of digger logs, riparian fencing and planting, and the construction of a Ducks Unlimited wetland," according to information ASCF provided to LighthouseNOW.

"In the past, this stream has been the location of both salmon and trout releases through the Fish Friends Program."

In addition, the spending allows the group to check on structures installed in older project sites around Lunenburg County and conduct any required maintenance.

ASCF's executive director, Stephen Chase, said rivers in southwest Nova Scotia are challenged in many ways, whether it be from acid rain or the introduction of invasive fish such as the chain pickerel.

"What what we've learned is that the problems that we're trying to help community groups deal with is larger than our ability to be able to help them, so, we do what we can."

Chase, Brooke Nodding of BCAF, Carroll Randall of the LaHave River Salmon Association and local MP Bernadette Jordan were present for the announcement of funding toward the project aimed at the LaHave River watershed.

The association's volunteers work on matters concerning efforts to conserve, restore and protect wild Atlantic salmon habitat. The ASCF's trust fund was established over 10 years ago via a federal government grant of $30 million.

Nodding said it's not the single largest grant her organization's received from ASCF, but they leverage money from other sources. BCAF's received over $100,00 from the ASCF in nine grants over the past 10 years for various projects.

Chase said BCAF's recent funding application was a good one and the organization has the credibility and experience to deal with such projects.

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