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Salish Sea Marine Survival Project: The Final Phase

By Pacific Salmon Foundation, 🕔Mon, Dec 4th, 2017


The Pacific Salmon Foundation has spent the last three years collecting an unprecedented amount of data on what is limiting wild salmon in the Strait of Georgia through the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project. But, we need to raise $450,000 annually to bring this Project to completion and year-end donations are a major source of this support. When you make a tax-receiptable donation by December 31st, 2017 your donation will be matched! AND you will be entered to win a TR3 reel and mooching rod donated by Islander Reels.

The Salish Sea, encompasses the Strait of Georgia in BC, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound in the U.S. This water body supports approximately 3,000 species of marine life, including all seven species of Pacific salmon. But, recent catches have been less than one-tenth of past levels, resulting in a ban on retention of wild Coho salmon and historically low catches of Chinook salmon. Although, these losses have been well acknowledged, particularly by communities surrounding the Strait of Georgia, the reasons remain a mystery.

Salmon Steward magazine

Download our new Salmon Steward magazine to read about the latest findings on what's limiting salmon in the Strait of Georgia.

Salmon Habitat: Research and Restoration

The Pacific Salmon Foundation launched the five-year Salish Sea Marine Survival Project to determine what was limiting wild salmon in the Strait of Georgia, with Long Live the Kings in Seattle leading efforts in the U.S. With just one more year to go, PSF has collected an unprecedented amount of data on the Strait of Georgia ecosystem all while engaging communities in comprehensive restoration efforts along the way. Some milestones from the last four years include:

• Restoration activities in 14 estuaries surrounding the Strait including removal of over 130 tonnes of underwater debris from one site!
• Education and engagement of over 20 different communities so that restoration and monitoring can continue past the life of the Project.
• Participation from over 80 scientists with expertise on various factors of the ecosystem.
• Partnership with 30 different organizations including volunteer stewardship groups.

The SeaChange Marine Conservation Society is a volunteer organization that has been researching and restoring eelgrass beds surrounding the Strait. At one site - Tod Inlet near Victoria - the group removed over 130 tonnes of underwater debris including cement blocks, boat motors and skiffs. Next steps will include debris removal in Burgoyne Bay at Salt Spring Island where the debris is even worse.

Seals Eat Salmon

The role of volunteers and citizen scientists has been central to the success of the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project. Thanks to our Citizen Science Program, PSF has collected an unprecedented amount of data that is already providing a clearer picture on how climate change and related changes to food supply, habitat and water conditions are affecting salmon.

The development of technological innovations through the Project has also been key to unveiling new findings and solutions for long-term monitoring. For example, computer modelling combined with a special 'seal beanie' tracking device revealed that seals in the Strait of Georgia are consuming up to 40% of juvenile Chinook and 47% of juvenile Coho! And the addition of antennae arrays across the bottom of the Cowichan River will enable continued monitoring for years to come.

Leverage Your Donation

Thanks to donations of specialized equipment, lab time and volunteer labour, donors to the Project can expect a 4:1 leverage on their donation. With at least 90 cents of every dollar donated going directly into salmon projects, those are some pretty compelling reasons to give! Our children deserve a future with healthy wild salmon populations. Please consider this special request and donate today.

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