ABBOTSFORD, BC, Dec. 1, 2023 /CNW/ - Efforts to reduce the risk of further erosion on the Fraser River bank, and in particular that of the Matsqui Dike, are receiving much needed support, thanks to the combined investment of more than $19 million from the governments of Canada and British Columbia, along with the City of Abbotsford.
Announced by MP John Aldag, Minister Nathan Cullen, and Mayor Ross Siemens, the project will increase the resilience of the dike -- which is situated on the Sumas First Nation's traditional fishing territory, and also protects the Matsqui First Nation downstream.
This project is the first of its kind to address flooding and bank erosion concerns in Abbotsford through a collaborative approach between Sumas First Nation, the City, and the Province. The project design incorporates Indigenous knowledge, engineering, and environmental solutions to minimize the risk of Fraser River flooding due to a Matsqui Dike breach, while restoring fishing sites and improving fish habitat.
Overall, the project will reduce the likelihood of bank erosion creating a dike breach, due to climate change.
Making adaptation investments now will have major economy-wide benefits later. Every dollar that is invested in adapting and preparing for climate-related disasters can return as much as $13 to $15 in benefits.
"With increasing importance on protecting our environment and communities from climate change, investments in disaster mitigation is another step the federal government is taking to protect Canadians. With this announcement, we are working to mitigate climate issues that continue to impact the Fraser River and the Matsqui Dike by protecting this area from further erosion. We will continue to work with all levels of government to secure Canadians' future, better protect homes, and create greater climate resilience."
John Aldag, Member of Parliament for Cloverdale?Langley City, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
"A rapidly-changing climate continues to challenge our infrastructure and our flood resilience, not only in British Columbia, but around the world, further highlighting the importance of helping our communities get ahead of these risks right now. This investment is critical to our commitment towards the long-term safety and sustainability of the Matsqui prairie and the people living within it and I look forward to the completion of this much-needed project."
The Honourable Nathan Cullen, Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship
"The City of Abbotsford is grateful to the governments of Canada and British Columbia for their significant investment in our community through this funding. This investment is being utilized by the City and local First Nations to develop erosion protection for the Matsqui Dike along the Fraser River, which serves to stabilize approximately three kilometres of the riverbank through the northern boundary of Abbotsford. The stabilization work minimizes the risk of flooding for the Matsqui Prairie, and not only protects the lands, farms, homes, vital regional infrastructure and the people who live and work there, but also helps to restore and rehabilitate traditional fishing sites. While much focus has been on Sumas Prairie following the 2021 flooding event, the damage that would be caused by a Matsqui Prairie flood would be even more devastating, which is why the City has spent years advocating for support in this area and we are eager to get this work started."
His Worship Ross Siemens, Mayor of the City of Abbotsford
"We are grateful that this project focuses on prioritizing fish monitoring and restoring fishing sites and habitat, while also aiming to achieve flood mitigation goals. This is a step in the right direction, and we look forward to future opportunities to work with our neighbors to increase public safety and preserve S'ólh Téméxw - our Land."
Chief Dalton Silver, Sumas First Nation
Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund
Canada's National Adaptation Strategy
Investing in Canada Plan Project Map
Federal infrastructure investments in British Columbia
SOURCE Infrastructure Canada
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