Posted by: marineharvestcanada | September 2, 2009

Doors to N.I. Salmon Stewardship Centre open Sept. 20

Marine Harvest donated 10 large fish rearing tanks.

Marine Harvest donated 10 large fish rearing tanks.

Courier-Islander September 2, 2009
 
Doors to the long awaited Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre open to the public on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 10 am.

This multi-purpose, educational facility features an interpretive gallery, wet and dry laboratories, a classroom and administrative offices.

Facilities associated with ongoing hatchery operations, such as the aeration towers and rearing tanks, have been upgraded and will support expanded fish production and enhancement activities at the centre in future.

The centre is intended to be a focus for ongoing salmon stewardship activities in the community, including habitat restoration, watershed planning, educational programs, tours, events raising awareness of the importance of salmonids and general enhancement initiatives.

There are also plans for future research and monitoring activities to be carried out at the centre.

“We’re pleased to have had such tremendous support from our funders and from the community for this project,” says Northern Vancouver Island Salmonid Enhancement Association chair Grant Anderson.

NVISEA spearheaded the project, which involved raising over $1 million to build and outfit the centre.

“We had a lot of help,” says Anderson, noting that work on the centre started over three years ago when then Department of Fisheries and Oceans Community Advisor Aleria Ladwig initiated a business plan for the brand new facility.

Since then, major funding has come from sources such as the Canada-B.C. Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund, Island Coastal Economic Trust, West Coast Community Adjustment Program, Coast Sustainability Trust, Towns For Tomorrow, Pacific Salmon Foundation, BHP Billiton, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Port Hardy Rotary, Norkan Construction, Vancouver Foundation, B.C. Hydro, B.C. Transmission Corporation and local businesses such as Irene Paterson, CGA and TwofourOne Consulting, and individuals like Jim and Bea Robson of Vancouver.

“We also received significant in kind contributions over the duration of the project,” adds Anderson, pointing to invaluable assistance from Norkan Construction, Boris the Mechanic, Orca Sand and Gravel, Western Forest Products, Marine Harvest, and numerous local small businesses that donated their time and materials to the building.

“We are particularly indebted to John Nightingale and his staff at the Vancouver Aquarium,” says Anderson, noting that the technical direction from aquarium staff was critical during the early stages of development of the interpretive space and the selection of a desirable design company.

The centre promises to be a key piece in the ongoing development of the tourism sector on northern Vancouver Island, says Regional District Chair Al Huddlestan.

“I believe this facility has the potential to provide a great educational and interactive experience for people of all ages,” notes Huddlestan.

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