Tsolum River Partnership Reduces Copper Contamination and Brings Salmon Back

The Goal: A Self-Sustaining System
After a small open-pit copper mine on Mount Washington on Vancouver Island closed in the 1960s, leaching copper eliminated fisheries in the Tsolum River watershed. By 2009, remediation work had improved water quality to the point where fisheries resources were beginning to recover. In the fall of 2009, there were more pink salmon in the river than had been seen in 50 years. In May 2011, the work of the Tsolum River Partnership was recognized with a  Premier’s Award for Excellence and Innovation

“The exciting thing about this is that now we can go to work and repair the ecosystems. We can actually restore fish habitat and riparian areas, build refuge habitat, stabilize banks, stabilize sub-straits, and end up with a system that’s going to be self-sustaining. It will probably take us another 20 years to do that. But at least we can do that now…It’s really, really exciting,” reports Jack Minard, Executive Director of the Tsolum River Restoration Society.
To Learn More:
The Premier’s Awards acknowledge outstanding achievements in public service. “I would like to thank each of these recipients for their leadership, dedication and incredible determination,” Premier Christy Clark said in a news release.

Click on “Tsolum River restoration story is all about sharing a vision and mutual respect,” observes CAVI’s Eric Bonham.

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