|Home > Article List > Musqueam Watershed Restoration Project|
>> Musqueam Watershed Restoration Project
Together, Musqueam and Cutthroat Creeks form the last watershed within the city of Vancouver which still supports runs of wild salmon. At the start of the twentieth century, the watershed supported annual runs of 300 coho alone. Unfortunately, by the mid-1990s development and polluted run-off had combined to reduce annual returns to only a dozen fish of all species. In 1997, the Musqueam Indian Band and the David Suzuki Foundation began working together to restore this watershed so that it could once again support healthy fish populations.
A comprehensive restoration plan was developed, including improving fish access by redesigning obstacles such as culverts, repairing stream beds by creating pools and riffles, restoring the creek's natural meander, and improving water quality. In addition, substantial energy was put into a public education efforts, such as a door-to-door campaign to inform nearby households of the impact on fish and their habitat of such actions as disposing of household chemicals in storm sewers and using pesticides on yards and gardens.
More recent efforts have included the enhancement of low summer flows with pumped ground water, the stabilization of streamside vegetation, the development of interpretive trails, and the tracing of pollution spills back to their sources. Volunteer efforts were provided by community schools, and financial support was obtained from the Salmon Enhancement Program, BC Hydro, VanCity Credit Union and Patagonia clothing company. As a result of all these efforts, in 1999 the Restoration Project received the City of Vancouver Mayor’s Environmental Achievement Award. Most importantly, the restoration project has resulted in an increase in salmon numbers; in 2000, 66 salmon returned to spawn in Musqueam and Cutthroat Creeks.
For more information
Category: Nature Conservation