- KelownaNow Streaming
"The best tool is to set the dikes back," said Steve Mathews. "The further the better."
Mathews is the fisheries biologist who presented to council the latest vision on how to manage Mission Creek.
It's called the 2022 Lower Mission Creek Habitat Conservation and Restoration Plan.
The plan builds on work that's already begun.
The dikes that line the Mission Creek Greenway take a sharp turn away from the midstream just below the Casorso Bridge, taking advantage of a piece of property that was acquired for just that purpose.
"To allow the development of flood plain within those dikes and allow the channel to meander through that area."
Mathews said it will reduce erosion and instability in the channel along with the flood risk
"You store water in there that can be released into the creek later during low flow times, you filter the water and you improve water quality as well."
The lower section of Mission Creek once took a winding 30-kilometre route to Okanagan Lake. Now it's just 12 kilometres in a fairly straight line and it's much narrower too.
"Setting the dike back is our best tool, but it's a long-term venture," he said.
"You can't go and set the dikes back everywhere, but you've got to work at it over time."
Mathews said it will mean buying property.
"Obviously the land owners need to be willing to sell their land and that's something that we need to look at over time, and see that when opportunities come up that we have the funding."
After his presentation to Kelowna City Council Monday morning, Mathews was pleased with the positive reaction to the plan.
"It was great to have the opportunity to speak with them", he told KelownaNow, "and the level of interest they showed and the questions they asked was just excellent."
Mathews authored the report on behalf of the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative.
The group brings together federal, provincial and local governments along with first nations and the Central Okanagan Land Trust.
To read the full report click here.
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