Fish and wildlife will receive an extra boost next year from a new fund explicitly for conservation projects on the northern half of Vancouver Island.
The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has announced it will begin accepting applications for the $350,000 North Island Conservation Fund starting this fall.
HCTF CEO Brian Springinotic said the Foundation decided to create the Fund following receipt of a $174,000 creative sentencing award from Neucel Specialty Cellulose Ltd after it was convicted for polluting Port Alice waters in 2011.
“In a perfect world we’d never receive these types of payments, because environmental damage wouldn’t take place,” said Springinotic. “Unfortunately, these types of infractions are still occurring, and our job is to ensure that money payable by the offender goes back into the habitats and species impacted, above and beyond any remediation required. Creative sentencing allows that to happen.”
The judge in the Neucel case specified that the creative sentencing award be used to “support of fish and wildlife conservation projects on Northern Vancouver Island”. HCTF’s Board of Directors decided to match the court award funding with revenue from surcharges on hunting and fishing licences to create the new $350,000 fund. HCTF is hopeful other local organizations will offer additional financial and in-kind support to grant applicants.
“We’re encouraging local conservation groups, fish and game clubs, First Nations, biologists –anyone who has a good idea to help fish and wildlife on North Vancouver Island – to visit our website or get in touch with us to learn more about this opportunity,” said Springinotic.
The deadline for the 2017 application intake will be November 2nd. You can find out more about the North Island Conservation Fund at https://www.hctf.ca/apply-for-funding/nicf