EDITORIAL: Why Mossom?

Just about every major creek in the Tri-Cities has a stewardship group watching over it but The Tri-City News has partnered with the Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society that protects and enhances Mossom Creek. Why?

For one, it’s the longest-living stream stewardship program in the region. In fact, before the Department of Fisheries started its Salmon Enhancement Program nearly 30 years ago, two Centennial teachers were already incubating salmon eggs to teach students about the value of protecting and enhancing salmon runs.

Without the efforts of Ruth Foster and Rod MacVicar, and their dedicated band of volunteers at Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society, sediment would have long clogged up the creek, killing the fish and any hopes of salmon spawning, and pollution would be an acceptable tradeoff for housing and economic development.

Now, as the group tries to rebuild after a disastrous December fire, The Tri-City News wants to be on the forefront of that reconstruction effort and is calling on individuals and businesses to do the same.

Much was lost in the blaze: incubating tanks and heath trays; more than 150,000 fish eggs that were collected last fall, including the hatchery’s first intake of pink salmon eggs that would have hatched by now; a classroom used as the group’s headquarters and to educate the next generation of stream stewards; and an archive that contained decades worth of newspaper articles, photographs and research.

Thankfully, there are already many signs that Mossom holds value in the community and people are coming together to rebuild. The city of Port Moody has loaned equipment and provided money and support. Other individuals and groups have come forward with offers of help and cash. And local businesses, building professionals and other corporations are starting to come on board.

Is more needed? Yes. The group has a long way to go and a lot of money to raise before it can begin construction.

But as the community comes together to rebuild, we promise to do our best to keep everyone up to date about what is needed and what has been accomplished.

It’s a project worth getting involved in for the fish, yes, but, more importantly, for the kids and generations of streamkeepers to come.



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