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Disaster Risk Reduction Ecosystem Restoration Project

UPDATE – Feb 23, 2024
SRD Receives $400,000 to Support Climate Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Projects

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) in partnership with the City of Campbell River, Nuchatlaht First Nation, Village of Tahsis, and Village of Zeballos has received $400,992 through the UBCM 2023 Disaster Risk Reduction / Climate Adaptation grant to fund five unique projects.

“This grant demonstrates the value of regional collaboration,” said SRD Chair Mark Baker. “Climate Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction are important for local governments because they help communities prepare for and respond to climate change and natural disasters. By taking steps to adapt to changing conditions and reduce risks, local governments can protect people, property, and essential services, making their communities safer and more resilient in the long run.”

The two primary activities this grant supports are updating the Oyster River Floodplain Map and the Southgate Middle School Wetland Restoration Planning Project.

Previous Oyster River floodplain modeling work was done by BC Water Management Branch in 1984, but over the last 4 decades, the riverbed has shifted.  Due to the riverbend changes, the 1984 model and map are no longer valid and it needs to be updated to support the ability of decision-makers to effectively both manage flood risk and guide land use decisions.  This project intends to develop updated floodplain mapping to be able to better implement land use planning, emergency planning, and risk mitigation work around the Oyster River and coastal lands in Electoral Area D. Specifically, it will be used to further refine Electoral Area D’s Floodplain Hazard Development Permit Area as a possible Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment and contribute background information towards a future SRD Climate Adaptation Plan.

Southgate Middle School has been working closely with Greenways Land Trust on replanting the watershed and creating a native species garden to study biodiversity and traditional plants used by local First Nations.  Re-wilding spaces help students learn traditional knowledge and the importance of plants with the help of Indigenous Knowledge Keepers.  “Southgate students will be involved in all aspects of the wetland restoration project, from initial design work and layout to planting and maintenance.  These opportunities will provide real-life examples of human environmental impact and nature-based solutions that tie into their climate change curriculum” said SRD Emergency Services Manager, Shaun Koopman.  “The SRD would like to thank School District 72 for their support and are hopeful to secure grant funding to implement the project’s recommendations in the future.”

This grant will also fund the following projects:

Local Knowledge Sessions: Hazard, Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Starting in 2025, the SRD will host a series of public engagement sessions to gather information from residents and interested parties regarding potential hazards and risks that could impact the vulnerability of communities throughout the region.
Ecosystem Restoration: A Path Forward Guidance Document This document will provide the SRD with a list of potential ecosystem restoration planning projects that could be considered for future grant applications.
Tsunami Wave Public Art Sculptures in the design of a wave will be placed by the outdoor tsunami evacuation signs in Oclucje, Tahsis, Zeballos, and Walters Island.

July 19, 2023 – Announcement

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) has received $1,150,052.62 through the 2023 Disaster Risk Reduction / Climate Adaptation grant program to fund five unique ecosystem restoration initiatives. First Nations and local governments throughout the regional district will benefit from funding to help strengthen resilience against climate-related hazards, such as flooding, drought, wildfires and heat.

“This grant was a collaboration between a number of local governments and First Nations and demonstrates the value of regional collaboration,” said SRD Chair Mark Baker. “The goal of each project funded through this grant is to work with nature to increase the resiliency of our ecosystems and communities against climate change. Healthy watersheds and ecosystems are critically important for species conservation and climate adaptation, reducing the impacts and risks caused by floods, droughts, and wildfires.”

“Ecosystem Restoration Planning will help communities better protect themselves against climate-related events” said SRD Protective Services Coordination, Shaun Koopman. “Communities will benefit from the development and implementation of an accurate foundational knowledge of the hazards and risks associated with climate change, as well as effective strategies to prepare for, mitigate, and adapt to those risks.”

This grant will fund the following projects:

  • Beaver Coexistence Public Education Programs – Beaver Coexistence educational workshops will be hosted for the public on Quadra Island and Cortes Island.
  • Houpsitas Watershed Restoration Project – This project will undertake a watershed risk assessment to mitigate risks to drinking water, road infrastructure, salmon habitat, and traditional food sources. See Map>
  • Kw’as Park Beaver Coexistence Project – The goal is to provide transferrable knowledge regarding the benefits of beaver coexistance for disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation by assessing the Kw’as road culvert in collaboration with community partners.
  • Nootka Island Ecological Restoration Strategy – This project will undertake a watershed risk assessment and stream restoration design on Nuchatlaht Nootka Island Claim Area to plan and support long-term solutions that reduce the impacts of disasters in the future and are prioritized and developed through engagement with the Nuchatlaht First Nation community. See Map >
  • Salmon River Floodplain Storymap – This Storymap will demonstrate findings from the Salmon River Floodplain Risk Assessment through maps, figures, photos, and video while incorporating artwork and stories from the K’ómoks First Nation where appropriate.
  • Xwémalhkwu Watershed Restoration Project – The goal of this project is to provide protection and conservation of riparian areas and related wildlife and fish habitat from pollution, sedimentation, storm surges and harmful temperature fluctuations. See Map >

The SRD’s partners on this grant application include the City of Campbell River, Xwémalhkwu (Homalco) First Nation, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nations, K’ómoks First Nation, Nuchatlaht First Nation, the Village of Gold River and the Village of Sayward.


Contact

Shaun Koopman, Protective Services Coordinator 250-830-6702 | skoopman@srd.ca