In 2008, Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District received a $30,000 grant from Northern Development through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program towards this $201,065 project. This has been a funding partnership of Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District, Northern Development, Coast Sustainability Trust, Oona River Community Association, and Union of BC Municipalities
2012- Oona River is a small northern coastal community on Porcher Island about 42 km south of Prince Rupert. This community is one of three small settlements on Porcher Island. The village of Oona River has long been a source of wooden boats for the coastal BC salmon fishing industry. Scores of these sturdy, seaworthy vessels were hand-built from red and yellow cedar by early settlers and their descendants, and some can still be seen in use today. The Oona River Salmon Enhancement Project, first established about twenty-five years ago, continues to rebuild threatened Coho salmon stocks in the Porcher Island area.
In keeping with Oona River’s history, supporting its community members, and furthering development of its emerging eco-tourism sector, the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District initiated a project to improve the amenities at the village’s multi-purpose facility in 2008. These enhancements, with funding assistance from Northern Development, have given the facility a greater capacity for meetings/conferences, community events, and tourism activity.
The upgrades performed on the kitchen, meeting rooms, and bedroom suites at the facility are essential to supporting eco-tourism operations in the area such as increasing the number of kayakers found along the coast each summer.
Oona River has traditionally been dependent on fishing and forestry activities, but is now focused on pursuing diversification efforts to develop a tourism strategy as an eco-tourism and fishing charter destination. This project is seen as a central component supporting Oona River's community development, providing residents access to internet, photocopying, telephone, and fax at the improved facility.
Oona River is establishing its reputation as a rustic eco-tourism location. The community hall is better supporting local tourism development while also contributing to increased quality of life for the residents of Porcher Island.