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ASCF Funds 21 Projects with First Round of Grants

by Ellen Hardy
27 June 2008, at 1:00am

CANADA - Work to conserve wild Atlantic salmon stocks got a C$275,000 boost today when the new Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation (ASCF) announced its first round of successful grant applications.

A total of 21 projects in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Quebec received funding in amounts ranging from C$1600 to C$44,500.

"The Foundation is very excited to recognize the first group of applicants to have received funding," ASCF Chair Honourable Rémi Bujold said at the announcement. Some 50 applications were submitted by conservation, environmental, sports angling and Aboriginal groups in Atlantic Canada and Quebec.

The Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation is a volunteer, non-profit, charitable organization established with the goal of helping to achieve healthy and sustainable wild Atlantic salmon stocks in Atlantic Canada and Québec. Funded with a start-up grant of C$30 million from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Foundation has created a trust fund to promote and strengthen partnerships among groups working to conserve wild Atlantic salmon. Conservation projects and program administration are financed from interest earned by the trust fund.

Applications submitted for this first round of grants were assessed and selected by the Foundation's five provincial advisory committees and its Central Advisory Committee.

In addition to the C$50,000 allocated to each province, the ASCF Central Advisory Committee awarded a C$25,000 grant to the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) in recognition of its broad, regional application and contribution to salmon conservation. ASF will use its grant to purchase "sonic pingers" as part of its Smolt Assessment and Tracking Research Program, which is investigating the freshwater and marine phases of the salmon's migration.

"When the Foundation was established our goal was to fund high-quality initiatives focused on strengthening conservation of wild Atlantic salmon and salmon habitat," Hon. Bujold explained at the announcement.

"All of us involved with ASCF were very impressed with the quality and quantity of applications we received. This shows that there is widespread and active interest in, and commitment to, conservation of the wild Atlantic salmon. The work these first funded groups plan over the next year is sure to go a long way in assuring a bright future for this signature Atlantic resource.

"The Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation plans to be a reliable and long-term supporter of salmon conservation by community partners," Bujold stated. "To that end, we are already encouraging all groups interested in preserving and restoring wild Atlantic stocks in their area to apply for grants next year."

The next round of applications grants will open on 1 November 2008.

Ellen Hardy