Following last November’s extreme rain events, the need to make improvements to outdated flood infrastructure will be a much-discussed topic at this year’s Union of BC Municipalities AGM. Now is the time to make sure that any infrastructure upgrades initiated in our communities are done right, in ways that protect fish and wildlife as well as people.
This year, mayors and councillors will vote on a resolution that calls on the province and federal governments to support fish-friendly flood recovery. If the resolution passes, it will send a clear message to federal and provincial decision-makers that B.C. communities want flood management that protects communities and supports wild salmon.
See the full text of Resolution NR28 below.
You can help by emailing your representatives and asking them to vote YES on Resolution NR28.
Many waterways are impacted by outdated flood control infrastructure that disconnects habitats used by wild salmon and other native species. As so much of the flood infrastructure in our communities is due for replacement or improvement, we have an opportunity to do it better, now. If these structures get replaced with the same status quo, fish-unfriendly infrastructure, they could stay in place for decades impacting any other efforts we make to help salmon.
At a time when many salmon populations are experiencing declines, we must take action to address one of the many causes for their decline.
Please send a letter to your local representatives to vote yes on flood recovery efforts that support wild salmon.
Resolution NR28 – Support flood recovery that creates safe communities and healthy, resilient ecosystems
Whereas the tragic flood events of November 2021 highlighted that conventional approaches to managing floods have not ensured public safety, lead to province-wide disruptions of infrastructure and food supply, weakened our flood storage capacity in the floodplain and further degraded the ecological health.
And whereas many flood control structures (e.g. dikes and associated floodgates and pumps) are unnecessarily blocking access to important habitats for wild salmon (e.g., over 1,500 km in the lower Fraser River floodplain) and many of these structures are undersized for climate related increases in flooding as experienced during the November 2021 floods.
Therefore be it resolved that UBCM call on the Federal and Provincial governments to ensure flood control projects provide multiple benefits to communities by aligning flood control funding and criteria with other core objectives such as reconciliation, wild salmon recovery, biodiversity, green infrastructure, climate adaptation and mitigation, emergency preparedness and “building back better”.
And be it further resolved that Fisheries and Oceans Canada, BC Ministry of Forests and Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship co-create Best Management Practices to provide technical guidance for local governments on achieving short-and long-term flood recovery needs that are multi-beneficial and improve climate adaptation needs.
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