Although this tank has the name of an online dating site, the new School of Salmon tank immediately made me think of the return of spawning Chum salmon to Still Creek in East Vancouver.
In 2012, after a decade of focusing effort on the Still Creek ecosystem, Chum salmon returned to spawn after more than 80 years. This “rewilding” by the Still Creek Enhancement Project involved daylighting parts of the creek that had been previously sent underground by urban development, removing concrete and narrowing streets in order to widen the creek, and adding native plants to the creek-bed and ravines in order to help filter some of the toxic off-flow from office buildings, recycling depots, industrial buildings, and strip malls that flank much of the creek.
As of last spawning season (Fall 2015), about 15 Chum salmon had returned to the creek for the fourth year in a row. This is really exciting because it indicates that with a bit of effort and dedication, the urban environment can again be made welcoming for native species and wildlife! It’s also exciting that after 80+ years, salmon still remember that Still Creek was a place they spawned. Fish memory, who knew?
So with your new School of Salmon tank you can be reminded of Vancouver’s “rewilding”, and tell everyone about the Still Creek Enhancement Project!