With a new building and hatchery now in place, the Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society (BIMES) is set to begin a new phase of educating children and adults about salmon and the environment and a $125,000, three-year grant will help make it happen.
On Thursday, Port Metro Vancouver announced the funding during a sign unveiling and official grand opening at the newly rebuilt Mossom Creek Hatchery in Port Moody.
The funding will be used to develop environmental programs to raise awareness about the importance of the Mossom watershed and the marine eco-system of Port Moody Inlet, said Evangeline Englezos, director of community and aboriginal affairs.
“We are committed to a thriving community and being a good neighbour,” Englezos said of Port Metro Vancouver’s decision to contribute to Mossom Creek, noting that the port is Canada’s largest, handling about 20% of the country’s marine trade traffic.
The funding announcement capped a morning of milestones, as BIMES directors, including president Kyle Pilon and founders Rod MacVicar and Ruth Foster acknowledged community contributions and thanked the many businesses, community groups and individuals who helped rebuild the hatchery, which burned down in December 2013.
The latest project was the completion of a pond and wetland, replacing the original pond built of concrete. Completed only 15 hours before the grand opening, the new pond will soon be home to frogs, insects and other creatures and, by enhancing the natural environment, help reduce the hatchery’s original footprint by 30%.
Several politicians were on hand to credit the organization for rebuilding the hatchery in such a short time frame. Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam MP James Moore, who brought his son Spencer to the mic, said he grew up with a Mossom hatchery, which thanks to volunteer efforts, will be around for his child.
Port Moody councillor and acting mayor Diana Dilworth recounted the night of the fire about 18 months ago when sirens could be heard screaming up Ioco Road. She said those attending a parks and recreation meeting at her house that night were stunned when they heard the news about the hatchery burning down.
But out of tragedy grew triumph, Dilworth said, and she presented volunteer project manager Pat Dennett with an exemplary civic service award for steering the project from design through completion.
Dennett said he was surprised by the acknowledgement and got involved simply because he wanted to contribute to his community.
“I am pleased to say that we finished our project ahead of schedule and under budget and now have a facility that will be a key component of our Port Moody community in years to come.” Dennett said.
• The public is invited to an open house at the hatchery tomorrow (Saturday), between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. There will be crafts, tours and refreshments.