Canada: Fraser River Dredging Plan Clears Another Hurdle

Fraser River Dredging Plan Clears Another Hurdle

With the release of an economic impact assessment, Delta has taken another step forward in its efforts to get federal funding to dredge the Fraser River.

Councilor Ian Paton stated: “Hopefully this will shake a few people up and get the job done.”

According to delta-optimist.com, the silt buildup in the secondary channels of the Fraser River has been an issue in Ladner for several years.

The Fraser River is the largest river in British Columbia, extending 1,400 km across the Province. As it flows through the Province it carries almost 20 million tonnes of sediment annually to the Fraser delta.

The potential impacts of continued inaction on dredging the Ladner Harbour and surrounding river channels includes:

Increased Flood Risks:

– The accumulation of sedimentation contributes to rising river bottom levels and increases the risk of floods – particularly during the high spring freshet.

Climate Change Vulnerability:

– The Fraser delta is particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise due to climate change. The community is also exposed to the combined impact of winter storms and tidal surges which results in higher than normal water levels in the local channels.

Lost Economic Impacts:

– Urban business, commercial and industrial activity along the Fraser River account for 80% of Provincial economic activity as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) and 10% of National GDP.

Impacts on BC Fisheries:

– Ladner Harbour has been identified by DFO as being critical to the local and regional fishing and aquaculture industries. Potential economic impact of not properly dredging the Harbour could include relocation of related industries, impact on local marinas, fisheries and float home communities, and loss of property taxes.

Reduced Recreational Opportunities:

– The harbour is increasingly unsuitable for recreational marine opportunities as a result of sedimentation.

[mappress]

Dredging Today Staff, August 8, 2012; Image: corp.delta

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