Lina Azeez

Lina Azeez

Wild salmon in the Katzie Slough need your help.

In February 2020, the City of Pitt Meadows voted to apply for funding to upgrade the Kennedy Pump Station, located where the Katzie Slough meets the Pitt River.

Kennedy Pump Station, the largest pump station in Pitt Meadows, helps keep the city dry. Unfortunately, it also cuts off access for wild salmon and other fish trying to move in or out of the Katzie Slough. The Katzie Slough is classified as salmon habitat and is important for over-wintering coho and rearing juvenile chinook.

With funding to upgrade the pump station, we have an important opportunity to choose salmon-friendly flood control that not only protects our homes and lands, but also opens up much-needed habitat to wild salmon. Talk about win-win!

Unfortunately, the City of Pitt Meadows has announced it has chosen to simply replace the station with the same old type of pumps that are already there, pumps that kill fish.

This is simply not acceptable.

Watershed Watch retained EcoJustice Canada to examine the legality of this decision. Ecojustice determined that the use of non-fish-friendly pumps in this situation may violate the new Fisheries Act. They have written a letter to this effect to the City of Pitt Meadows, along with numerous federal and provincial departments and the Katzie Nation, who have been calling for salmon-safe flood control.

Read the Ecojustice letter here.

Salmon populations are in steep decline and we can not afford to invest in infrastructure that will be in place for decades that harms wild salmon.

Of course, this isn’t only about the Kennedy Pump Station. This decision has the the potential to affect future flood management planning across the lower mainland and the province at large.

If you live in Pitt Meadows, would you consider sending the Pitt Meadows city council an email voicing your support for fish-friendly flood management? The more Mayor and Council hear from their constituents, the greater chance we have of reversing this damaging decision.

You can email the entire council at council@pittmeadows.caRead the Ecojustice letter for guidance on what to include in your email. It doesn’t need to be long and detailed, it can simply state your support for fish-friendly pumps for the Kennedy Pump Station. You might also want to remind Council that building back better means choosing infrastructure projects that protect both our communities and our environment.

In the coming months, we will be rallying our supporters to contact the Province and the City of Pitt Meadows, demanding they improve their plans for the Kennedy Pump Station, and urging them to consider salmon in all infrastructure funding decisions.

Find out more about Connected Waters, our campaign to reconnect 1500 kms of salmon habitat currently blocked by outdated flood infrastructure.