Defending the Heart of the Fraser: Lina Azeez
Have you heard about our campaign to defend the Heart of the Fraser? Plans have been submitted for agricultural development of two sensitive gravel islands in an area known as the Heart of the Fraser. The Heart of the Fraser, the stretch of the Fraser between Mission and Hope, is critical to the survival of Fraser River salmon stocks. Its gravel reaches are prime spawning habitat for salmon and the endangered white sturgeon,as well as a nursery for billions of baby salmon every year.
When we heard about this plan we were flabbergasted! Who’d possibly want to put farms on islands known to flood frequently during the spring snow-melt? How could development be considered in this important habitat area when wild salmon are in in crisis?
In response, Watershed Watch helped form a coalition of concerned organizations who immediately launched a campaign to stop this development from proceeding. We created an online petition and began telling people about the threats facing the Heart of the Fraser, asking them to contact their decision-makers.
Today nearly 6000 people have signed the petition to protect this important ecological area and over 1820 letters have been sent to the Minister of FLNRO asking him to protect it from agricultural development.
All our efforts are starting to pay off. Not only has the project decision been stalled, but talks are actively underway with local First Nations and the current land owners to purchase the islands for conservation.
In addition, the public outcry has caught DFO’s attention and they have launched an investigation into the riparian damage already inflicted on the islands.
With this much love and support, the future’s looking bright for the Heart of the Fraser! If you have not yet signed the petition, please add your name at www.heartofthefraser.ca.