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Surrey’s Salmon-painting challenge aims to teach public about water pollution

Competition encourages everyone to get involved in spreading the word about pollution affecting fish
Yellow salmon paintings will be seen in front of every roadside drain throughout the City of Surrey this summer. (Contributed photo)

Flowing directly into fish-bearing streams, roadside storm drains catch more than just water. It’s an issue the City of Surrey is spotlighting this summer with its Storm Drain Challenge.

Described as a fun, family-friendly annual event, the challenge encourages everyone to take a shot at painting yellow salmon in front of every drain they find, the City of Surrey stated in a news release on Thursday (June 16).

The competition is part of the larger Salmon Tracks Storm Drain Marking program that runs in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. It began to teach city residents to be mindful about where their waste goes and who it impacts.

The fish-paintings are a reminder that the drains are not just black-holes leading to a mysterious location, but are directly reaching salmon habitats. Whatever enters the drain reaches the creeks uninterrupted, so ensuring that pollutants do not slip in through the cracks is vital, reads the City of Surrey website.

To join the fun, interested residents can visit their nearest participating recreation centre to pick up a kit with all the essentials. Throughout the summer season, challengers will mark as many drains as possible with a painting of a salmon, keeping track of every location hit.

After Aug. 15, the end of the challenge, participants can return their kits and marked locations to the recreation centre and qualify to win a prize.

The competition started June 15. To see a list of participating recreation centres to pick-up your kit and join the two-month competition, visit

READ MORE: Summer reading clubs are back next week at Surrey libraries


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Sobia Moman

About the Author: Sobia Moman

Sobia Moman is a news and features reporter with the Peace Arch News.
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