Volunteer Profile: Don Downer

July 4, 2014

Meet Don Downer, a member of the NL Advisory Committee.

Downer became involved with the ASCF roughly six years ago. He said he got involved because of his background in biology – a BSc with a biology major; a MSc in marine biology with research on inshore intertidal zone marine invertebrates.

“A small group of us started ACRE (Aquatic Centre for Research and Education) that focused on preserving the natural habitat of Atlantic salmon, restoring Hughes Brook here on the north shore of the Bay of Islands, and training and educating young local people in freshwater habitat and stock preservation and restoration.”

Downer said at the time he was approached to join the efforts of the ASCF he was working as a professor at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College (Memorial University of Newfoundland) in Environmental Science. He also began, and ran, the Grenfell Research Office.

“I saw this as a continuation of my interests and an opportunity to make a contribution to the community at large. The Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation is doing good work in funding Atlantic salmon and habitat projects that otherwise would not have been funded.”

“This is not a particularly onerous volunteer service – it does not take a great amount of time and the returns are enormous. I would encourage anyone with an interest to get involved.”

”The original federal contribution of $30 million was tax money well spent. Unfortunately, the first few years were doldrums financially in Canada and worldwide; we seem now to have weathered it and we are moving into being able to contribute significantly more money to worthy projects.”