By Diane Strandberg
Posted October 22, 2014 · Updated 8:52 AM
It was a great day for fish.
That was the comment of Rod MacVicar, co-founder of Mossom Creek hatchery, who huddled under a tarp for a press conference Friday along with other volunteers to celebrate a $35,000 provincial grant to help with the rebuild project.
“The co-operation between local, federal and provincial politicians has been crucial,” MacVicar said as rain bucketed around him.
The money from the Ministry of Environment will be matched by $35,000 from Imperial Oil for a total of $70,000 to help cover the cost of outfitting the building with flooring, furniture and other materials.
“It’s a big step,” said volunteer project manager Pat Dennett, noting that the plan is to get a roof on the building by Christmas and acquire furnishings, floor coverings and other materials that will stand up to generations of students and others eager to learn about the salmon and help with the hatchery.
MacVicar noted that it’s important to teach young people about the environment and “we do this through the salmon,” adding that the creek is deserving of provincial support because it is home to tailed frogs, which are listed as a species of concern by the province.
Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA Linda Reimer, who presented the cheque to Mossom Creek volunteers, said the money was given because the group is making such an impact with its environmental work and community education.
With the second floor already in place, work can take place in the first-floor incubation room where plumbing and electrical is being installed to hold the tubs, trays and basins that will be the temporary home for hatchery fish.
According to Dennett, the project will cost $1.2 million, with $860,000 raised for construction and another $360,000 for the fittings, hatchery equipment and landscaping.
The hatchery burned down in December and rebuilding the important education centre has been an ongoing project of the Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society since January.
• Donations are still being accepted at www.mossomcreek.org.