The 2017 action plan for the Camp Slough restoration is ready to start after approval by Chilliwack council last week. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Progress File)

Work plan for Camp Slough in Chilliwack could start this summer

Range of environmental regulation challenging Camp Slough restoration

A 2017 “action plan” for the Camp Slough cleanup effort was approved last week by city council.

Council has been exploring what it would take to have the degraded slough system restored, hiring Consultants McElhanney, and investigating costs in the short-term and longer term.

When it comes to restoring a degraded waterway, it’s all about the flow.

The costs of long-term restoration, with culvert replacement and more, is pegged at $35 million, over a span of up to 20 years.

“The price tag is very steep indeed,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz, during the staff report at city hall last week. “It may be beyond what council can afford.”

Any movement in this direction will require funding partnerships with senior levels of government, she said.

There has been very strong community support for the idea of slough restoration in Chilliwack.

The issue of nutrient loading in the waterways by agricultural operations also came up, and the consensus was the need for developing an education campaign with signage to avoid nutrient loading in the waterways.

“I’m happy to see this move forward, even with baby steps,” said Coun. Chris Kloot, adding that with a recent changes at the provincial government, maybe some funding grants could be secured.

In the meantime, council approved a work plan of quick hits that is set to start this summer.

The 2017 work action plan items will cost about $240,000 and are funded in the budget. They are aimed at addressing “regulatory agency requirements” while also achieving some short-term hits.

McElhanney was awarded the contract for the 2016 Camp Slough Flow Study 2 project, for site investigative works, water quality testing and data analysis, community and stakeholder engagement, preliminary design solutions and a phased strategy and management plan. The problems include high temperatures, low flow, low rates of dissolved oxygen and more.

The data allowed McElhanney to create the hydraulic model of the Camp Slough and a baseline for the water quality levels in the Slough. McElhanney then developed a phased strategy and management plan to achieve the improvements to meet the community’s vision and desired outcome for the Camp Slough. Potential short, medium, and long term improvements with order of magnitude costing were established.

There are always regulatory challenges because they’re talking about waterways.

“The (Camp Slough restoration) project presents significant challenges relating to Federal and Provincial Statutes such as: the Fisheries Act, the Species at Risk Act, the Water Sustainability Act and Regulation, Farm Practices Protection Act and the Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality. As such. City staff has undertaken consultation and engagement with key stakeholders. First Nations and the community to establish open communication and work to address these hurdles.”

Work action plan for 2017 includes:

• Topographical survey for hydraulic profile
• Install flow monitors
• Create signage about nutrient loading
• Removal of in-stream vegetation at road crossings

• Re-design CHIP Inlet with culverts and channel improvements

Just Posted

Vedder Rotary trail network in Chilliwack will be closed for five days on the south side

The upgrade will take until Friday so trail users asked to take alternate routes

Chilliwack encouraged to commemorate liberation of Holland

Planning already underway to mark the 75th anniversary of the event

UPDATE: RCMP confirm body of missing Chilliwack senior found

Ethel ‘Grace’ Baranyk had severe dementia

RCMP urge caution for back to school drivers

Police are asking drivers to slow down and watch for pedestrians

UPDATE: Police response on Cheam First Nation a ‘non-event’, RCMP say

More than two dozen RCMP and ERT vehicles were at the First Nation looking for a known fugitive

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Memorial to deceased teen stays in place through Labour Day

Hundreds of tributes have been left at the Walnut Grove skate park

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

Most Read