Pacific Salmon Foundation Update – Monitoring Key Salmon Indicators with Citizen Science at Pender Harbour


Paper Excellence is proud of the support we give the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF). We value the work PSF does to preserve salmon habitat and restore the salmon population because it supports our commitment to protecting freshwater and marine ecosystems. One of the ongoing projects that Paper Excellence funding helped make possible is Monitoring Key Salmon Indicators with Citizen Science at Pender Harbour. Read PSF’s project update below:

Monitoring Key Salmon Indicators with Citizen Science at Pender Harbour

The Loon Foundation has been participating in the Salish Sea Marine Survival Program in partnership with the Pacific Salmon Foundation since 2005. This exciting Citizen Science-based initiative consists of volunteer teams throughout the Salish Sea gathering oceanographic data in effort to understand fluctuation in returns of various salmonid species within the shared waters of British Columbia and Washington.

With support from the Community Salmon Program this spring, the Loon Foundation has been able to continue executing one of its largest and most exciting ongoing initiatives: the Pender Harbour Coastal Waters Monitoring Program (PHCWMP). Launched in 2016, the goal of this program is to develop long-term monitoring of temporal and spatial changes in the aquatic ecosystems of the fresh and marine waters of the Pender Harbour region. The monitoring program collects comprehensive data on key species and habitats to identify trends and thereby work with collaborators to investigate potential causes of disruption, such as land development, pollution, resource extraction, invasive species, and climate change.

This round of funding to the Loon Foundation, thanks to generous contributions from Paper Excellence, will be utilized specifically for four PHCWMP monitoring programs focused on salmon, their prey, and their habitat, including:

(1) Salmon Escapement – enumerating and habitat assessment of returning spawners to local creeks.

(2) Juvenile Salmon – identifying habitat use, migration patterns, health, and spatial and temporal distributions within Pender Harbour.

(3) Forage Fish – identifying and assessing spawning beaches of two key prey fish for Pacific salmon (Pacific Sand Lance and Surf Smelt).

(4) Seagrass – identifying and assessing health of eelgrass beds as key habitat for salmon survival.

Not only does this data benefit a wide range of groups including local governments and First Nations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, researchers, stakeholders, and partner organizations, but it provides engaging volunteer opportunities working with trained biologists in the community. These salmon survey activities also enable Sunshine Coast residents to learn about local salmon species and the threats they face, gain a sense of community, and connect directly with wild Pacific salmon and their habitats through a science-based lens. Public engagement activities, including web and social media posts, media articles, presentations, school programs, and events also spread knowledge and awareness of the importance of protecting salmon habitat far and wide.

Pacific Salmon Foundation is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wild Pacific salmon and their habitats in British Columbia and the Yukon. They work with all members of the ‘salmon community’ to advance the collective efforts, promote awareness of this keystone species, and guide the sustainable future of wild Pacific salmon and their habitat. As a vocal advocate for salmon, PSF helps action priorities that support the conservation of this vital ecological resource.

Learn more about Paper Excellence’s support of the Pacific Salmon Foundation: