RDKB to host public conversation about water issues

Graham Watt
By Graham Watt
April 4th, 2014

On the water’s edge. It’s where we work. It’s where we play. It’s where we live.

It is a special place where people can enjoy the view, learn about nature, and benefit from accessing water. The soils, plants and animals found around the edges of lakes, streams and wetlands are shaped by and depend on the presence of water, and are known as riparian ecosystems.

When they are healthy, riparian ecosystems filter pollution, provide wildlife habitat, and help recharge groundwater.

But they are also vulnerable to development and over-use. Many of our activities near water – building, paving, clearing, grazing animals and mowing – harm riparian habitat, plants and soils. When riparian areas and wetlands are damaged, not only is local habitat lost but increased erosion and sedimentation can impact downstream landowners and fish habitat.

Jenny Coleshill, coordinator for the Granby Wilderness Society, is conducting a study on threats to riparian areas across the Boundary. “Almost everyone directly or indirectly impacts these areas,” said Coleshill. “But we can also all play a role in protecting and restoring wetlands, shorelines and riparian areas.”

During floods, our streams and rivers also move around across the floodplain, placing our homes, roads, businesses and farms in harm’s way, as seen last year in Calgary and Colorado. Recently a large segment of the Kettle River west of Midway has been cut off by a new channel, and the local ‘Doukhobor Beach’ west of Grand Forks has been stripped of its sandy lower section.

“The Regional District will be interested in exploring innovative ideas about riparian and floodplain management from people across the Boundary,” said Grace McGregor, Chair of the RDKB Board of Directors. “We also look forward to learning from the upcoming watershed management plan and the scientific information coming from the riparian study across the watershed.” 

“This is too important to ignore – we need residents to come out and work on solutions,” added Bill Baird, Chair of the Kettle River Steering Committee.

On April 15, the public is invited to join the RDKB and the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan Stakeholder Advisory Group to discuss issues and strategies related to floodplains, riparian areas and wetlands. The Advisory Group will use the ideas discussed to develop key parts of the watershed management plan.

Between 12:00 and 1:00, we will offer lunch and have informal conversation about the overall watershed plan. Then from 1:00 to 4:00, Stakeholder Advisory Group Chair Roly Russell and Project Coordinator Graham Watt will lead participants through small-group discussions about the issues and potential solutions.

Everyone with an interest in the water’s edge across the Boundary is welcome at the event, which will take place in the USCC Community Centre (Community Centre Road off of Highway 3 https://goo.gl/maps/O7Cm5). Doors open at 12:00 p.m., and presentations and discussions start at 1:00 and go to 4:00. The public is requested to register for the event by contacting Graham Watt (plan@kettleriver.ca| 250.442.4111).

Graham Watt

Coordinator, Kettle River Watershed Management Plan






Roly Russell

Stakeholder Advisory Group Chair;
Area ‘D’ Director




Bill Baird

Kettle River Steering Committee Chair; Area ‘E’ Director



Grace McGregor

Chair, RDKB Board

Area ‘C’ Director



Mark Andison

RDKB Manager Operations



– 30 –

Categories: GeneralIssues

Other News Stories