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Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers founder recognized by BC Achievement Foundation

Lone Sheep Publishing
By Lone Sheep Publishing
May 16th, 2023

Gerry Nellestijn, founder and trailblazing force behind the Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society (SWSS), was recently recognized as a recipient of a 20th annual Community Award by Premier David Eby and Walter Pela, Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation.

The program, presented by BC Achievement – an independent foundation that honours excellence and inspires achievement throughout the province – recognizes extraordinary British Columbians who build better, stronger and more resilient communities.

Nellestijn founded the Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society, an organization that promotes research, awareness and restoration of threatened fish and wildlife and their habitat in the Salmo watershed and beyond. Described as the lynchpin of SWSS, Nellestijn has worked to change attitudes within the local community by using his skills to leverage funding support to ensure critical instream habitat restoration work in the Salmo watershed.

This has led to several long-term fisheries monitoring projects being funded for over 20 years while protecting the watershed for generations to come.

Nellestijn has organized and coordinated the multi-stakeholder Watershed Technical Committee and the Watershed Planning Team to produce a comprehensive action-based Salmo/Pend d’Orielle River Watershed-based Sustainability Plan Report: Setting Watershed Priorities.

In addition, he has volunteered as a director for the Columbia Kootenay Fisheries Renewal Program and the White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative, and is a Salmon Ambassador for the Ktunaxa Nation, touring elementary, high schools and colleges in the region to talk about salmon and their recovery. Gerry is dedicated to collaborative approaches engaging stewardship ethics, principles and values.

“This year’s Community Award recipients demonstrate exceptional commitment to making their communities – and our province – healthier, happier and more hopeful,” said Premier David Eby.

“From ambitious students to established entrepreneurs, the honourees show us how everyone can have a hand in building a stronger BC. Their stories are sure to inspire British Columbians across the province.”

— Source Province of BC

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