Elk River Solutions Symposium a success

Participants had a sneak peek into the Elk River Flood Strategy’s current research to support better decision making.

Forty people participated in the Solutions Symposium on flooding in the Elk River Watershed on Apr. 12 at the Arts Station in Fernie to be better prepared for the upcoming flood season and to learn ways to reduce flood risks and promote innovative flood mitigation solutions.

“Spring is such a hopeful time – flowers blooming, birds singing, and life returning. With these hot temperatures melting snow and the imminent monsoon June, floods are not far from our conscience,” said Lee-Anne Walker, Symposium organizer and coordinator of the Elk River Flood Strategy.

After the 2013 flood, a group of Elk Valley local government officials and staff, industry representatives and community members met and reached consensus that we needed to better understand the current and future conditions of the Elk River in order to develop a holistic flood strategy protecting residents and community infrastructure as well as watershed function and wildlife.  This initial meeting sparked a three year process coordinated by the Elk River Alliance with funding from Regional District of East Kootenay, Columbia Basin Trust, Real Estate Foundation of BC, Teck and Mitacs in partnership with the University of Lethbridge.

“There is so much continuity driving this initiative as many of these same folks joined the Symposium to review the key findings of the Elk River Flood Strategy as were at the original meeting in July of 2013,” said Walker, who was also at the initial conversation.  “Representatives from the RDEK, Districts of Elkford and Sparwood, City of Fernie, Teck, as well as participants from Canadian Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Commission, Federation of BC Naturalists, Wildsight, Elk River Alliance and interested citizens waded into the waters together to learn about the river and discuss what we need to do moving forward”.

People attending wanted to be more prepared and look at different strategies to control and mitigate floods, supported by robust science and best management practices.  Participants wanted to better understand the effects of various flood mitigation strategies on downstream communities and ecosystems and how to resource flood solutions.

Participants had a sneak peek into the Elk River Flood Strategy’s current research to support better decision making.  A web-based visualization tool that helps people from Hosmer to Coal Creek see if they are in a flood hazard zone and floodplain and the depth of water innundation for various flood scenarios.  There are tips to keep people safe, help floodproof homes and why floods are important for fish.

“Mostly the Strategy increases our watershed-wide flood literacy and it is a tool to drive better decisions.  As we see from the research it is best to be proactive and prepared,” said Walker.  Look for the full report to be released at the end of May, just in time for peak freshet.

Just Posted

Fernie and RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Peanut Butter Campaign supports local food banks

Both Save On Foods in Fernie and Overwaitea in Sparwood participated in… Continue reading

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Global accessibility advocate brings efforts home

Fernie has third world accessibility problems, says Cotton

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

Most Read