CHILLIWACK, BC – In a significant move to enhance community resilience and safeguard against the impacts of severe weather events, $10 million is being put toward two critical flood mitigation initiatives on the north side of the Fraser River. Funding for these projects has been provided by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food via the Fraser Valley Flood Mitigation Program, which is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.

Following the devastating atmospheric river events in the Fraser Valley in 2021, the collaborative efforts of Leq’á:mel First Nation, Fraser Valley Regional District, and Dewdney Area Improvement District as part of the Hatzic Watershed Stewardship Team (HWST) have paved the way for innovative solutions to address flood risk in the region. The HWST also includes the City of Mission and several provincial ministries.

“The best way to prepare for an emergency is cooperation, and these projects reflect the commitment of all the people and communities involved to build a stronger province,” said Pam Alexis, Minister of Agriculture and Food. “The work along the river will result in safer communities, more secure food production on farmland, and serve as an example of what can be achieved when people work together. I can’t wait for these projects to be complete and look forward to supporting more communities prepare for flooding in the year ahead.”

The aftermath of the 2021 events exposed vulnerabilities to extreme weather events, annual freshets, and climate change, endangering agricultural assets along the Fraser River. These two projects not only aim to mitigate flood hazards but also contribute to ecological benefits, supporting riparian habitat preservation endeavours, and advance a more collaborative approach with Leq’á:mel First Nation founded in respect and recognition of Leq’á:mel’s Indigenous rights and title.

”Funding provided by the Ministry of Agriculture is welcome news to our community,” said Leq’á:mel Chief Councillor Alice Thompson. “For decades, flood management in our Territory occurred without our knowledge, consent and involvement. These projects open the door to a new collaborative planning approach centered around a recognition of our Indigenous Rights. The projects on Athey Road and in the Hatzic valley affirms our role in advancing Indigenous-driven watershed governance and will help to secure a more climate resilient future for all peoples living in our Territory.”

Athey Road Bank Stabilization Project

Valued at $5 million, the Athey Road Bank Stabilization Project targets a section of shoreline adjacent to Athey Road on the east side of Nicomen Island. With 35 kilometres of dikes and five pump stations protecting Nicomen Island from Fraser River flooding, this initiative becomes crucial in preventing ongoing erosion that has intensified in recent years. Bank stabilization or training works will support the integrity of the dike and protect residents, including Leq’á:mel reserve lands and village sites.

Hatzic Pump Station & Electrical Kiosk Upgrades 

This $5 million project includes the development of the Hatzic Flood Mitigation and Watershed Master Plan, coupled with a capital project to upgrade the Pump Station and Electrical Kiosks in the Hatzic Slough. Owned and operated by the Dewdney Area Improvement District, these upgrades are designed to raise the electrical kiosk to a higher flood-resistant level. An additional pump station using fish-friendly technology will increase water transmission capacity.

The commitment of $10 million from the Province of British Columbia reflects a proactive approach to building resilience and safeguarding communities in the face of climate-related challenges. These flood mitigation projects stand as a testament to the dedication of all involved, working together towards collaborative, sustainable protection of communities on the north side of the Fraser River.


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