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Volunteering in fish-habitat rehabilitation projects in British Columbia

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(Research Project) M.R.M.
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This research explores the motivations of volunteers within fish-habitat rehabilitation projects in western British Columbia. Literature on watershed partnerships, collaborative planning, co-management, volunteering, and interviews with key respondents were reviewed to formulate a series of questions about volunteer motivations. Interviews were conducted with respondents from a sample of urban and rural regions. Research results demonstrate motivations may be influenced by a diversity of reasons, but volunteers are driven chiefly by the desire to achieve positive resource outcomes. Individual empowerment is encouraged through positive reinforcement from others and by accomplishing group goals. Furthermore, government strategies can encourage volunteers with more long term and sustainable projects and by fostering greater trust with volunteers. This study considers the interaction of factors which influence the success of projects in effectively using volunteer contributions. The findings will be useful to agencies and project coordinators in attracting and retaining suitable volunteers.
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