The Haida Gwaii Marine Resources Group Association is facing its funding woes with a positive attitude.
“I see us as having an important role to fulfill and I look forward to the organization being there,” says coordinator Rolf Bettner.
The association works with provincial and federal agencies to repair and restore freshwater and marine resources, but its major source of money-Fisheries Renewal BC-is no longer funding groups like HGMRGA. “We’re in the process of looking for funding,” says Mr. Bettner. “There’s definitely a need. Funding is tight for everybody. That being said, there is money out there and hopefully we can leverage some of it to the islands.” The SMFRA fund may be one source of funding that could keep the association going, says Mr. Bettner.
Fisheries Renewal BC contributed $1.25-million to watershed restoration and related projects between 1998 and 2002 including the Yakoun River Hatchery, the Pallant Creek Hatchery expansion, the Delkatla Sanctuary salmon display and educational programs like Kids in Creeks.
At this evening’s annual general meeting, directors will discuss where the association wants to be involved and finding funds to continue its work, says Mr. Bettner. As well as working locally on watershed restoration, Mr. Bettner sees the organization having a role in larger issues such as oil and gas discussions and land use planning. Directors will have to decide where to direct the organization’s efforts.
“There’s definitely a need for the work that we do. There’s a litany of ruined and disturbed watersheds,” says Mr. Bettner.
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