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Province supports climate-emergency projects in Richmond

November 1, 2023 at 11:31 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

To help strengthen resilience against climate-related hazards, the Province is providing funding to the City of Richmond for a pair of flood-mitigation projects.

Richmond will receive $150,000 to install river-level sensors, box culvert-level sensors and canal-level sensors to monitor the performance of Richmond’s flood-protection infrastructure and improve the city’s ability to respond to and prepare for significant weather events.

The Province is providing an additional $150,000 to develop a seepage assessment and management plan, which will analyze the flood hazard of water seepage from the 49 kilometres of dikes that protect the community.

“British Columbians are concerned about the increasing effects of climate change and the emergencies we’re already experiencing – like drought, flooding, extreme heat and wildfires,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness. “By funding local, on-the-ground projects, our government is helping First Nations and local governments protect their communities and keep people safer from future emergencies.”

Sea levels are expected to rise due to climate change. Based on the assessment, Richmond will develop a plan for how to manage sea-level rise-induced seepage and changes to the groundwater table to better safeguard the community from flooding and protect low-lying properties and infrastructure.

The Province is providing a total of approximately $5 million to several communities through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) under the Disaster Risk Reduction-Climate Adaptation stream. These investments also support the Province’s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy, which outlines a broad range of actions until 2025 to address adverse climate effects and build resilience throughout B.C.

“Extreme weather is something we need to prepare for as storm effects continue to be magnified by climate change,” said Kelly Greene, MLA for Richmond- Steveston. “As MLA for a low-lying community, I know how important protection is from the multiplied threats of rising sea-level, freshet, storm surges and atmospheric rivers. Funding for a seepage assessment and management plan and flood protection monitoring stations will better equip the city of Richmond to address these risks and provide peace of mind for families and businesses.”

In February 2023, the Province provided $180 million to CEPF, bringing the total provincial investment in the program to $369 million since its establishment in 2017. More than $165 million has been provided to First Nations and local governments through CEPF for approximately 1,600 projects that help communities prepare for disasters and climate-related emergencies. The CEPF is administered by the Union of BC Municipalities on behalf of the Province.

“As a regional leader in flood protection initiatives, Richmond is steadfast in our commitment to keep residents safe,” said Malcolm Brodie, mayor of Richmond. “The Seepage Assessment and Management Plan project will broaden our understanding of future impacts of rising water levels on flood protection infrastructure, allowing for more robust planning. The Flood Protection Monitoring Stations project will expand the sensor network and demonstrate our proactive approach to improve the city’s ability to prepare for significant weather events – ensuring the safety and economic vitality of our community.”

In response to the growing number of climate-related emergencies in B.C., the Province also launched ClimateReadyBC, which provides mapping tools, risk data and resources to help communities better prepare and reduce the risk from disasters and climate emergencies.

Intake for the current Disaster Risk Reduction-Climate Adaptation stream will be open until March 28, 2024.

Quotes:

Henry Yao, MLA for Richmond-South Centre –

“Keeping people safe is a priority on all fronts, and that includes during climate emergencies. When we are better prepared for emergencies, their impact on our communities and infrastructure is drastically reduced. Proactive investments like these will help the people of Richmond protect their lives, loved ones and property.”

Aman Singh, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough –

“Effective emergency planning requires input and expertise of our municipal counterparts who know these communities best. With this funding, the City of Richmond can undertake the critical work to plan ahead and support our community during future natural disasters.”

Learn More:

For information about the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, visit: https://www.ubcm.ca/cepf

For information about disaster and climate-risk reduction, visit ClimateReadyBC: https://www.ClimateReadyBC.ca

To learn about the Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy, visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/BC-Adapts

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