Gerry Nellestijn is a founder and trailblazing force behind the Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society (SWSS), an organization that promotes research, awareness and restoration of threatened fish and wildlife and their habitat in the Salmo watershed and beyond. Described as the lynchpin of SWSS, Gerry has worked to change attitudes within the local community by using his skills to leverage funding support to ensure critical instream habitat restoration work in the Salmo watershed. This has led to several long-term fisheries monitoring projects being funded for over 20 years while protecting the watershed for generations to come.
Gerry has organized and coordinated the multi-stakeholder Watershed Technical Committee and the Watershed Planning Team to produce a comprehensive action-based Salmo/Pend d’Orielle River Watershed-based Sustainability Plan Report: Setting Watershed Priorities. In addition, he has volunteered as a director for the Columbia Kootenay Fisheries Renewal Program and the White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative, and is a Salmon Ambassador for the Ktunaxa Nation, touring elementary, high schools and colleges in the region to talk about salmon and their recovery. Gerry is dedicated to collaborative approaches engaging stewardship ethics, principles and values.