Save The Salmonids in the Classroom Program for Schools Across BC!
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Despite over 30 years of success in revitalizing depleted salmon stocks through the Salmonid Enhancement Program, the federal government's Department of Fisheries has decided to discontinue this program and reallocate funds elsewhere. Among other things accomplished by this program, the Salmonids in the Classroom program engages young people in preservation roles by providing schools across the province with salmon eggs that students raise into juvenile salmon before releasing them in local streams. The Department of Fisheries has decided to cut this funding and shift it towards legislative and regulatory policy making instead. Though these acts of environmental protection are also crucial safeguards for protecting our environment, the value of the Salmonids in the Classroom program is too great to lose and needs to be invested in. Our children derive great benefit from learning the role they personally play in ecosystem balance and the investment of providing them this experience benefits society as a whole with informed citizens leading us forward.
Please sign this petition to urge our government to keep the SEP program so that future generations can enjoy the gift of environmental stewardship!
- Minister of Department of Fisheries
- Prime Minister of Canada/Premier ministre du Canada
- Opposition Critic of DFO
- Opposition Critic of DFO
I am profoundly disappointed that Salmonids in the Classroom, an educational program of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, has recently be cancelled.
I ask that you direct the Ministry to reverse its decision. Here are my reasons:
1) Salmon literacy must be represented in our curriculum:
Salmon are essential to Canada’s and to British Columbia’s aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, to our economy, and to our cultural identity. They are both practically and spiritually valuable to the people of Canada and are a lynchpin species to the ecosystems they inhabit throughout their lifecycle. To lose the benefit that Canadian society as a whole gleans from the hands-on education that the Salmonids in the Classroom program provides is removing a vital pillar of our education system.
2) The program is widely used:
Salmonids in the Classroom is run in over a hundred of classrooms in BC and the Yukon for over 30 years, directly influencing tens of thousands of students. Specialized infrastructure (tanks, filters, water chillers) are already in place in each school; a network of committed educators is also in place. Generations of Salmonids in the Classroom participants have helped repopulate salmon to streams and estuaries to healthy levels, delighting in the fact that they’ve helped contribute to the protection of our great Canadian landscape.
3) The program is effective and versatile:
The learning opportunities provided by this experiential and hands-on project, is an incredibly valuable resource for teachers. Raising salmon from eggs to fry in a tank in the classroom – and then ceremoniously releasing them in a local stream - offers an invaluable learning experience for my students. The range of subjects that relate to this program span the entire age range of students and is an important learning resource to reflect on throughout their academic careers. The DFO’s own website provides a comprehensive list of learning outcomes from K-12 that this program provides: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/education/resources-ressources-eng.html that span various aspects of humanities and sciences.
4) The rationale for cancelling is misguided:
To explain the program cancellation, the DFO cites “reallocations… to support Wild Salmon Policy, the Cohen recommendations, and the Fisheries Act Review.” However, the Cohen recommendations include education as the first pillar in compliance and enforcement of sustainable aquatic ecosystems. How can the DFO do its job of protecting salmon fisheries, if it does not have the support of an informed and sympathetic population?
We ask that you reconsider your decision to cancel the Salmonids in the Classroom and ensure it stays in schools for years to come.
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