We’ve received some great news for our Connected Waters campaign! Last week, the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) passed an important resolution for wild salmon and lower Fraser communities.

Resolution NR16 – Flood Risk Mitigation Through Green Infrastructure and Natural Assets asks the federal and provincial governments to require and fund nature-based solutions to protect our communities from flooding. You can read the resolution here, page 119.

Over 1500 km of streams, sloughs and side channels in the lower Fraser River are impacted by archaic flood control structures that kill fish or block salmon access to these vital habitats. These structures need replacing or upgrading to protect our communities from flooding. Replacing these structures with salmon-safe solutions that improve fish passage can help rebuild wild salmon populations, while securing good local jobs and protecting our communities from floods. Talk about a win-win-win!

We supported the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) executive to bring this resolution forward to the UBCM virtual annual general meeting last September. However, due to COVID-19-related delays, the vote on this (and many other resolutions) was postponed. Instead, the resolution was discussed and passed Friday, February 19, 2021.

This decision helps hold the province accountable on this issue. Last summer, the Select Standing Committee on Finance recommended fish considerations when upgrading for floods as part of the Province’s 2021 budget. This UBCM vote demonstrates the growing concern of British Columbians for struggling wild Pacific salmon and underlines the Province’s responsibility to invest in flood solutions that consider fish and their habitats.

UBCM staff will now send this resolution to the federal and provincial governments for their response. We will keep an eye out for their responses and continue advocating for funding and institutional leadership.

Resolution NR16 builds on a resolution passed by UBCM in 2018, Resolution B119 – Upgrade Flood Infrastructure to Consider Fish and Access to Fish Habitat and is another step forward for wild salmon habitat in the lower Fraser.

We thank all those who wrote letters to their mayors and councils asking them to support this resolution. You were instrumental in getting this resolution passed. Every action truly does count!