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Watershed Watch Salmon Society

Connected Waters: Reconnecting lower Fraser Valley waterways for healthy salmon and communities

This project aims to upgrade water flow and flood risk management of local waterways to better account for social/ecological values like wild salmon, clean water, and natural beauty. It will change: Basic routines: Landowners and municipalities will use fish-friendlier flood control systems, improving habitat quality and fish abundance, while maintaining flood control and agricultural functionality. Socially, restored ecological connectivity will improve community enjoyment and recreation. Resource flows: Restoration of ecological connectivity within the lower Fraser floodplain will become a higher priority in federal, provincial, and municipal flood management studies and spending. Authority flows: Federal laws (e.g. Fisheries & Navigation Protection Acts) and provincial laws (e.g. Water Sustainability Act) meant to protect salmon, water, and community access will be better applied to these formerly high-value habitats that are now primarily governed by BC’s Diking Act. First Nations’ rights and title may also be applied. Beliefs: Citizens will increasingly view these degraded waterways as vibrant sources of community enjoyment. Improvements to our initial target waterways—along with regional, provincial, and federal policy improvements—should create a systemic “ripple effect” across the region as more citizens, stewardship groups, First Nations, and municipalities see that changing the status quo in flood management is possible on their local waterways.