As chairman emeritus of the Miramichi Salmon Association, J. W. Bud Bird (LLD ’87) is an enthusiastic salmon angler and conservationist, as was his late wife Peggy, who passed away in 2013. His donation of $100,000 to the Canadian Rivers Institute at the University of New Brunswick will help ensure that the mystery of declining wild Atlantic salmon stocks continues to be addressed by research in order to restore their numbers and secure their habitat for the future.
The Bud and Peggy Bird Fund will be used to provide financial support to UNB students affiliated with the Institute, and fund ongoing and new wild Atlantic salmon research.
The Canadian Rivers Institute (CRI) is located on UNB’s campuses in Saint John and Fredericton and is an internationally-recognized collaboration of academics, regulators, industry, and non-government agencies who are committed to promoting research that will meet society’s priority water issues. Founded by four scientists just 15 years ago, the CRI now boasts 19 science directors, 81 research associates, 88 students and 30 research staff.
The Institute’s work with wild Atlantic salmon, led by 15 science directors, including Dr. Allen Curry, aims to address key issues facing conservation, such as why only half of young salmon (smolts) are able to get to the open ocean. “Wild Atlantic salmon need clean, free-flowing rivers and healthy oceans to survive their long migrations,” says Dr. Curry. “We know that human activities can create stress on river ecosystems which in turn have negative impacts on wild Atlantic salmon populations. The CRI is extremely grateful that this contribution will continue support of our research to understand the threats and help mitigate the impacts on rivers, oceans, and salmon.”
A businessman and community leader, Bud Bird is a former Mayor of Fredericton. He also served a term as Minister of Natural Resources with the New Brunswick government and represented Fredericton as Member of Parliament from 1988 to 1993. “The work that the CRI is doing in the area of wild Atlantic salmon conservation is world-class,” he says. “I know Peggy would have been pleased to join me in supporting this worthy cause. I hope others will be inspired to give as well. With such support, the CRI will be well-equipped to identify new methods of conservation so that healthy and diverse salmon populations are restored in New Brunswick and elsewhere around the Atlantic Ocean.”
“This fund will provide students with invaluable opportunities for hands-on learning at our internationally recognized Canadian Rivers Institute and will help ensure that vital research on wild Atlantic salmon continues,” said Eddy Campbell, UNB president and vice chancellor. “This is a truly fitting legacy for devoted conservationists like Bud Bird and his late wife Peggy, and we are grateful for this generous donation.”