Richmond, B.C. – Today, Paper Excellence Canada announced a $100,000 gift to the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) to boost efforts to conserve and restore Pacific salmon populations across B.C. The gift will be distributed through grants in communities where Paper Excellence operates to help advance community-driven stewardship initiatives at a local level.
Approximately half of Pacific salmon populations are in some state of decline. Salmon encounter various challenges during their complex life cycle, including the effects of climate change, habitat loss, development, and more.
Paper Excellence’s donation will support PSF’s Community Salmon Program, which awards hundreds of grants to grassroots salmon conservation projects across B.C. and the Yukon each year. Since PSF launched the Community Salmon Program in 1989, the program has engaged more than 300,000 volunteers to pursue local projects to restore salmon and rehabilitate their habitats.
“Our renewed support for the Pacific Salmon Foundation is critical to our commitment to protecting freshwater and marine ecosystems close to home. Today’s investment will boost capacity for the Community Salmon Program, which enables the progress of hundreds of local salmon protection initiatives,” says Graham Kissack, Vice President of Environmental, Health and Safety and Corporate Communications for Paper Excellence Canada. “We strive to continually improve our environmental performance. Our gift to the Pacific Salmon Foundation comes at a time when we are working at our mills to reduce carbon emissions and manufacture innovative forest products.”
“Many Pacific salmon stocks are in crisis in British Columbia and it is up to everyone to turn this around. Fortunately, Pacific salmon are resilient by nature. They’ve been adapting for millennia. We are taking action to mitigate the impacts of changing conditions and help salmon adapt,” says Michael Meneer, CEO and president of PSF. “But in order to do so with adequate resources, we rely on support from businesses such as Paper Excellence to ensure these lifeblood species not only endure, but thrive for future generations. We’re salmon first, salmon always – and we don’t go it alone.”
The Gibsons Marine Education Centre Society is a Community Salmon Program grantee that has advanced local stewardship and habitat work with support from the Pacific Salmon Foundation. The group works to sustain marine ecosystems in the Lower Sunshine Coast and Howe Sound through a community aquarium operation, environmental education programs, and marine conservation projects.
Through surveys conducted in the Gibsons Harbour subtidal area, the group previously identified the presence of significant hazardous marine debris in eelgrass beds – critical nearshore habitat for salmon.
The Gibsons Marine Education Centre Society has organized an eelgrass and harbour clean-up for March of 2023, which will be supported thanks to the donation from Paper Excellence. The event will engage volunteers of all ages who will collect, audit, and sort marine debris to help improve harbour habitat. An educational session on the impacts of human activities on the nearshore habitats that are vital to salmon populations will kick off the event.
Paper Excellence, headquartered in British Columbia, is a diversified manufacturer of pulp and specialty, printing, writing, and packaging papers. The company operates seven mills and a large-scale cargo distribution centre in Canada producing and shipping over 2.8 million tonnes annually with a workforce of more than 2,800. Paper Excellence is poised to continue to grow with its strategy of operational excellence and high-quality, cost-effective products.
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The Pacific Salmon Foundation is salmon first, salmon always. We harness the passion and power of people to save and restore wild Pacific salmon in B.C. and the Yukon. And, we never go it alone; working with Indigenous partners, thousands of stream keepers, government, academic Institutions and a coalition of People for Salmon, we are on a mission to conserve salmon for the benefit of generations to come. Learn how you can help wild Pacific salmon at psf.ca
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