Tag Archives: Nathan Cullen

‘Here we are talking about drought in February’

Editor’s note: When the rains finally started in October 2022, Cortes Island had received very little precipitation for 97 days. That was the first year Basil Creek came close to drying up and only about 10 Chum were able to swim upstream to spawn. The creek almost disappeared during the 2023 drought and some of Cortes Island’s shallow wells stopped recharging. On Quadra Island, I-CAN’s water security team responded to the drought by launching a project to gather data on the island’s ‘water budget,’ wetlands and wells, so they can be better prepared for the future. With Vancouver Island’s snowpacks currently 70% below normal, we may need a wetter than normal spring and summer to avert another drought in 2024.

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Water security groups in B.C. are rallying to face another summer wracked by drought and wildfire after the province revealed the snowpack is 40 per cent lower than normal. And they are urging the provincial government to do the same. 

Extremely low snow levels across most of B.C., ongoing drought in certain areas of the province and unusually warm weather are increasing the risk of widespread drought and wildfire this spring and summer, according to the BC River Forecast Centre’s snow bulletin released Thursday. 

Continue reading ‘Here we are talking about drought in February’

Tradition meets modern: Restoring wild salmon habitat

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

First Nations working to restore wild salmon and vital fish habitat on northeastern Vancouver Island will receive $3.4 million for a trio of stewardship projects in the Campbell River region. 

The restoration of salt marshes in the Campbell River estuary, a new fish trap based on traditional practices, and a hatchery are being jointly funded by the B.C. and federal governments

The estuary and fish trap projects, which also involve Greenways Land Trust and A-Tlegay Fisheries Society as partners, reflect the Wei Wai Kum Nation’s goal to revitalize salmon populations, said Chief Coun. Chris Roberts. 

Continue reading Tradition meets modern: Restoring wild salmon habitat

Mining and conservation can go hand in hand, environment ministers say

By Matteo Cimellaro, Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Mining projects and protected land can co-exist, two provincial environment ministers said at a press conference on Friday after two days of meetings with their counterparts from across the country.

Continue reading Mining and conservation can go hand in hand, environment ministers say

Milestone agreement to protect vast West Coast marine areas endorsed by First Nations, Ottawa and B.C.

 Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Fifteen First Nations are assuming stewardship of a vast network of marine protected areas in their traditional territories that span two-thirds of Canada’s West Coast. 

The Great Bear Sea MPA Network, an unprecedented initiative co-developed with the B.C. and federal governments, is the result of two decades of work, said Christine Smith-Martin, executive director for Coastal First Nations. 

The Indigenous-led initiative, also known as the  BC Northern Shelf MPA Network, involves 100,000 square kilometres of ocean and stretches from Northern Vancouver Island to the border of Alaska. It was formally endorsed and celebrated on Sunday at IMPAC5, a global marine conservation summit underway in Vancouver. 

Continue reading Milestone agreement to protect vast West Coast marine areas endorsed by First Nations, Ottawa and B.C.

Has B.C. turned a new leaf around protecting biodiversity?

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Environmental groups are applauding B.C. Premier David Eby’s new promise to protect 30 per cent of the province’s land by 2030 in partnership with Indigenous Peoples. 

The goal signals a potential shift by the NDP under the new premier to improve B.C.’s lacklustre record of protecting biodiversity and endangered species hot spots, conservation groups say.

Continue reading Has B.C. turned a new leaf around protecting biodiversity?