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BC Living Rivers Trust Fund

The BC Living Rivers Trust Fund, created in 2002, is a provincial legacy fund to invest in the health and sustainability of BC’s watersheds. This is critical, given the serious challenge of climate change, changes in hydrology, declining salmon stocks and multiple demands for water.

BC’s Watersheds — A Good Investment

Between 2006 and 2012, the BC Living Rivers Trust Fund invested $21 million in 450 priority watershed projects. These investments were in the Fraser Basin (Fraser Salmon and Watersheds Program), Georgia Basin-Vancouver Island and Skeena Basin. A further $1 million was put into the Fund in 2012-2013. The work has focused on:

  • watershed planning and management
  • stewardship and restoration of freshwater/estuary habitat
  • sustainable fisheries management
  • education and engagement of the public.

As an overview, see this Living Rivers video from 2009.

A Success Story

The success of the BC Living Rivers Trust Fund is reflected in many ways;

  • Prominent British Columbians helped found and continue to support the Living Rivers Trust Fund
  • The Fund is soundly managed through an independent Advisory Group and a respected financial manager (Vancouver Foundation)
  • As founding delivery partners, the Fraser Basin Council, Pacific Salmon Foundation and BC Conservation Foundation have contributed their experience in fund administration, program management and watershed work
  • The Province’s investment was leveraged nearly three to one (to an estimated $57 million) through federal and other contributions between 2006 and 2012
  • The business model offers an effective, efficient and affordable approach to sustaining BC watersheds
  • BC First Nations have been actively engaged throughout the program — leading and partnering on projects
  • The Fund has helped build a strong, cooperative network of over 150 public, private and non-profit sector bodies with expertise and experience in watershed work — including community groups, educational institutions, agricultural organizations, industry and fisheries interests.
  • Over 50,000 members of the public have been engaged in their watersheds through education and volunteer activity
  • Important progress has been made in understanding different models of collaborative watershed governance
  • Water and watershed science has been advanced through research projects, along with a better understanding of traditional ecological knowledge
  • Significant fish habitat sites have been restored or enhanced in the Fraser Basin, Georgia Basin, Vancouver Island and the Skeena, and landowners are more active in stewardship of waterways
  • Innovations in fisheries management have been piloted, evaluated and put to immediate use
  • There is now a better understanding among all partners, and members of the public, about the challenges facing watersheds, and why we need to manage BC’s water resources for sustainability.

A Good Example — Fraser Salmon and Watersheds Program

To learn about Living Rivers investments in the Fraser Basin, see highlights from the Fraser Salmon and Watersheds Program (FSWP). Also hear from some of the FSWP project partners talk about the value of watershed investments, in the video below.

Video: Project partners share thoughts on the value of FSWP

Webinar 1

Next Steps

As set out in Living Water Smart: BC’s Water Plan, there is a need to manage BC's water resources carefully. This will help ensure a sufficient quality and quantity of water for communities, economic activity and ecosystems — now and in the future. If an ongoing provincial commitment is made, the Living Rivers Trust Fund can help secure BC's water future.

Our Vision

Social well-being supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment.

About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in the Fraser River Basin and throughout BC. Established in 1997, FBC is a collaboration of four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations) along with those from the private sector and civil society. We work with people in multiple sectors, helping them find collaborative solutions to today’s issues through a commitment to the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Our focus is on healthy water and watersheds, action on climate change and air quality and strong, resilient communities and regions.

FBC Project and
Partner Sites

Plug in BC:


ReTooling for Climate Change:

FBC Youth:

Climate Action Toolkit: 

Salmon-Safe BC

Contact Us

FBC has offices in Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George. We also have staff located in Abbotsford and Vernon.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff.

Our main office is:

Fraser Basin Council
1st Floor, 470 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5

T: 604 488-5350
F: 604 488-5351