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Location: Fraser Valley, Chilliwack, BC
Fraser Valley Regional District will be outlining a comprehensive strategy for managing river hazards in the Chilliwack-Vedder River watershed while minimizing negative and promoting positive, impacts to fish and wildlife habitat. The Chilliwack River provides high quality habitat for all five species of pacific salmon, steelhead, trout, and numerous other aquatic species. The Chilliwack River Valley is also home to nearly 2,000 residents of the Fraser Valley Regional District, and many of these properties are vulnerable to numerous river hazards including flooding, erosion and debris flows.
Many of the activities typically undertaken to mitigate river hazard risk on the Chilliwack-Vedder and similar rivers can negatively impact fish habitat. To avoid habitat damage, Fraser Valley Regional District will be researching new low-impact hazard management strategies that may be appropriate for the Chilliwack-Vedder River (e.g., bioengineering) and investigating how traditional hazard management works (e.g., dykes) can be undertaken in ways that will reduce the negative impacts associated with such works. Low impact options that provide sufficient protection for communities at risk will be presented in a comprehensive package that also considers potential upstream and downstream influences of works in certain areas. This project will benefit salmon and their habitat and also residents of the Chilliwack River Valley, as this hazard mitigation strategy will help decision-makers implement works that will have the least impact over the long term.