The Elk River Alliance is calling for increased action as a result of declining westslope cutthroat trout populations in the Elk River.

ERA gets provincial funding for monitoring project

$28,400 has been earmarked for the ERA as part of a $27-million program to support environmental groups

The Elk River Alliance (ERA) is set to receive some $28,400 in funding through the Healthy Watersheds Initiative.

The funding, which is part of the B.C. Economic Recovery Plan, is from over $27 million divided between organizations dedicated to monitoring and maintaining watersheds and wetlands around the province.

The funding for the ERA will go towards it’s Community-Based Water Monitoring Program (CBWMP), which gathers data on Elk River tributaries that are critical habitat for wildlife.

The data will be used to create an “early warning system” to help identity effects of climate change and land-use decisions.

According to the Real Estate Foundation of B.C. (which administers the agreements for funding), the $28,400 given to the ERA will support the training and certification of up to 15 people as part of the project.

Executive director of the ERA Chad Hughes, said that in 2021, the CBWMP would be monitoring five steams throughout the Elk Valley: Lizard, Coal, Morissey, Boivin and Alexander Creeks.

The ERA’s 2021 program is supported through the BC Gaming Grants, as well as the Healthy Watersheds Initiative, which is delivered by the Real Estate Foundation of BC and Watersheds BC, with financial support from the Province of British Columbia.

The provinces wider program and investment of $27 million will create 750 jobs in water and watershed projects across the province, according to the B.C. Government.

According to the province, the projects supported carry out activities like supporting the recovery of healthy and abundant fish stocks, strengthen natural carbon sinks by resorting wetlands, monitor and restore watersheds and provide natural flood management and prevention by restoring riparian areas and stabilizing riverbanks.

READ MORE: Wildsight looks to safeguard famed fossil



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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