Media Release: Municipalities Vote for Fish-Friendly Flood Control at LMLGA
WHISTLER – Yesterday, at the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) meeting, representatives of 33 municipalities passed a resolution to improve salmon habitat in the lower Fraser. The resolution calls on the provincial government to consider ecological connectivity and ecosystem health in their oversight of flood infrastructure and to provide funding to install fish-friendly infrastructure whenever aging or inadequate infrastructure requires upgrading.
“At this time of year, juvenile chinook and coho are looking for protected areas in the lower Fraser, rearing grounds where they can feed and grow before they head out to sea,” says Lina Azeez, Watershed Watch Salmon Society campaigner. “Currently, over 1500 km of potential salmon habitat on the lower Fraser are blocked by dikes, pumps or flood gates. Upgrading to fish-friendly flood infrastructure will open up that habitat to migrating fish. It’s a win win, for people and for salmon.”
“Rebuilding our salmon populations relies heavily on increasing accessible habitat, which we can achieve by switching to fish-friendly flood control, along with restoration initiatives like garbage clean-ups, riparian plantings and invasive plant pulls.
“Washington State has their Floodplains By Design program, improving fish habitat by re-wilding waterways. We need to see B.C. take a leadership role in creating similar programs.”
The resolution will now be brought to the Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting in September to be voted on by all municipalities in B.C.
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Lina Azeez, Watershed Watch Salmon Society, 604-537-2341
ER8 Upgrade Flood Infrastructure to Consider Fish and Access to Fish Habitat
Whereas the Fraser River is home to more salmon runs than any other river in the world, and many of these runs are affected by outdated municipal flood control infrastructure that blocks or harms salmon streams;
And whereas the Ministry of FLNRORD administers the Water Sustainability Act, and administers funding programs to replace aging and inadequate flood protection infrastructure:
Therefore be it resolved that the provincial government be requested to improve their oversight of flood infrastructure maintenance and improvements, to include consideration of ecological connectivity and aquatic ecosystem health;
And be it further resolved that the provincial government initiate infrastructure funding priorities and partnerships that support the installation of fish-friendly infrastructure in those locations where aging or inadequate infrastructure requires upgrading or replacement.