Today the province of B.C. announced in Budget 2023 $100 million to kick start a Watershed Security Fund. This fund will support “wild salmon health, clean drinking water, biodiversity, flood resilience, economic opportunities, and reconciliation with First Nations.”
The creation of this fund has been something our community has been calling for since we launched the CodeBlue BC plan in 2020. To date, CodeBlue supporters like you contacted their elected leaders nearly 6,000 times to push for the development of a Watershed Security Fund. Thank you so much for taking action, you helped make this fund a reality. Every letter and phone call helped.
A Watershed Security Fund will support projects that defend and rebuild our watersheds, to make our communities safer from floods, fires and drought, better protect our drinking water sources, restore habitats for our fish and wildlife, keep tabs on what’s happening in our watersheds, and make our province more resilient in a changing climate.
This is a big win and we should all take a moment to pat ourselves on the back. We’ve taken a huge step towards achieving one of our three goals as CodeBlue BC. So, while this is good progress, there is still more work to be done.
The $100 million dollars committed in this year’s budget to the Watershed Security Fund is a great start but it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed in the long term. Our watersheds across our province have been degraded over the decades and there is a lot of work to do and more investments into the Watershed Security Fund will be needed.
There are also still bad actors in our province that continue to damage and degrade our watersheds, and we will continue to shine a light on these issues and call for more fines and better enforcement to defend B.C.’s watersheds. There’s no replacement for government managers and politicians doing their jobs to look after our shared natural wealth.
But we can get back to that tomorrow – let’s take today to celebrate.