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Watershed, wetland projects create jobs, protect environment

Watershed, wetland projects create jobs, protect environment

March 15, 2021 at 9:08 am  BC, News, Politics

To help communities adapt to the effects of climate change and protect the environment, approximately 70 watershed and wetland initiatives are taking place throughout the province this year.

Some of the projects include:

Wetlands workforce

Wetlands have a tremendous amount of value in B.C., including water filtration, providing a habitat for a variety of species and buffering communities from extreme weather events through flood control. The BC Wildlife Federation’s Wetlands Workforce Project will employ more than 100 people to conserve and restore more than 70 wetlands by enhancing riparian areas, stabilizing shorelines through weed management, protecting trees and planting native species. The project will also support provincewide monitoring initiatives to improve wetland management. 

Restoration of Kwakiutl Cluxewe River and estuary

Located near Port McNeill on northern Vancouver Island, the Cluxewe River and estuary is home to several species of fish and hundreds of waterfowl, and was once considered a world-class fly-fishing river. It also has significant historical and cultural values for the Kwakiutl First Nation. The Cluxewe River will be the focus of channel restoration initiatives, especially in the lower river and estuary where active erosion has affected fish habitat. Instream work includes bank stabilization, riparian restoration and other potential methods to assist with stabilizing the channel to restore spawning and rearing areas.

Community-based water monitoring and restoration in the Columbia Basin

The Columbia Basin is an essential part of life for people living in southeastern B.C., but a changing climate is having an impact on the region’s lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands, groundwater and glaciers. Living Lakes Canada will train 25 people to professionally monitor and collect data for water deficit areas of the Columbia Basin. The data will provide a better understanding of diminished water resources, droughts and flood events to help communities make decisions about water resources and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Managing water levels on the Endako River

Every year in late summer, hundreds of chinook salmon and kokanee make their way to the Endako River in the northwest central interior of B.C. to spawn. Portions of the river, which flows into the Stellako River near Fraser Lake, have become increasingly low during the summer months, making it difficult for fish to access suitable spawning habitat. To increase water levels during low flows, the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance and Carrier Sekani First Nation will work with the Province, local governments and communities to build a weir on the Endako River’s outlet from Burns Lake.

Elk River Watershed community-based monitoring

The tributaries of the Elk River in southeastern B.C. provide important habitat for wildlife and fish, including the west slope cutthroat trout, which draws anglers to the region every year. The Elk River Alliance’s community-based watershed monitoring initiative focuses on volunteers collecting samples and data from key Elk River tributaries to identify trends in ecosystem health. Volunteers will also assist with community outreach to promote the importance of healthy watersheds.

To view more projects, visit: https://www.refbc.com/healthy-watersheds-initiative

 

 

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