Alexandra Morton receives 2008 Eugene Rogers Environmental Award
For immediate release – Saturday, December 6, 2008
Vancouver, British Columbia – Today the Wilderness Committee is honouring Alexandra Morton of Echo Bay, BC with the 2008 Eugene Rogers Environmental Award. The award is being presented at the Wilderness Committee’s Annual General Meeting at the SFU Wosk Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver.
The Wilderness Committee’s Eugene Rogers Environmental Award is given out once a year to a grassroots environmentalist who has made an outstanding contribution towards protecting the environment of BC. This award has been presented for 16 years and this year, for the first time ever, is accompanied by a $1,000 prize.
“Alexandra Morton is a prominent advocate in protecting our precious wild Pacific salmon from the effects of salmon farming sea lice,” said Geoff Senichenko, Research Director at the Wilderness Committee. “She has worked tirelessly to communicate her message through ground-breaking peer-reviewed science, grassroots education and now defending our wild salmon in the courts. She is inspiring in her determination.”
Ms. Morton is being recognized for her work to inform the public about the threats posed to BC’s wild salmon by open net-cage salmon farms. She has been chronicling the declining health of coastal marine life, including salmon and orcas since moving to BC’s Broughton Archipelago in 1984. For over 20 years, Morton’s Raincoast Research non-profit charitable society (formerly Lore Quest) has been actively involved in unprecedented studies on the impacts of salmon farming. Morton educates the public and community leaders through video documentaries, internationally published scientific articles and books.
British Columbia has close to 100 salmon farms operating on its coast with approximately 30 of them in the Broughton Archipelago. Many of these fish farms are foreign-owned and are responsible for significant destruction of coastal marine life by spreading disease and sea lice parasites to wild salmon and producing toxic algae blooms.
In 2008, Morton launched Adopt-a-fry.org to raise funds for her Supreme Court of BC challenge to the legality of the provincial government’s regulation of fish farms. Morton launched her case on September 29, 2008, arguing that since the oceans are within federal jurisdiction, the federal government should take back the full responsibility for salmon farming regulation in those waters. The outcome of this constitutional challenge is pending.
For further information:
Alexandra Morton, Award Winner 250-974-7086
>Geoff Senichenko, Wilderness Committee Research Director 604-683-8220
Backgrounder on Alexandra Morton and the Eugene Rogers Award