That’s the premise of Watershed Watch’s Connected Waters campaign, which urges senior government to commit to upgrading all flood defences and ensure they are salmon-friendly.
The ambitious goal of Connected Waters is to reconnect 1,500 km of salmon habitat that is currently blocked by outdated flood infrastructure, mostly built generations ago, in the Fraser River floodplain. Fish in the most prolific salmon river in the world find themselves cut off from critical habitat that was formerly used as refuge and even spawning areas.
Connected Waters was launched in 2016, and there have been great strides so far. The case has been made to politicians at all levels. Members of the public have been engaged, and have even worked on restoration projects. Government funding has been secured to do the work.
The Resilient Waters Project was launched after Watershed Watch received support from the BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund, with partners at MakeWay Canada, to determine the scope of work. The study assessed more than 150 flood control structures, and then in consultation with First Nations partners and other experts, the most important upgrades will be identified.