Investing in the restoration of nluxʷluxʷɬcwix (Trout Creek) in the District of Summerland

DISTRICT OF SUMMERLAND, BC, May 29, 2024 /CNW/ – Efforts to restore Trout Creek to its natural form and function are one step closer after an investment of $563,118 from the federal government.

Trout Creek is the primary water source for the District of Summerland and is the second largest community watershed in the Okanagan.. At one time the creek used to meander across a 2.5 km wide fan between the canyon and the lake. Due to channelization in the 1940s and 1970s, and degradation since, it is now significantly narrower, the once abundant forests of cottonwood are minimal, and the salmon runs in this creek are almost extinct.

Using a collaborative approach guided by Traditional Ecological Knowledge from the Penticton Indian Band (?), this project will widen and restore important functions of the creek to bring diverse plants and animals, especially various salmon species, back to the region.

The significance of Trout Creek cannot be overstated, as it is the second-largest watershed feeding into Okanagan Lake. It plays a crucial role in sustaining the ecological health and balance of the lake and its surrounding ecosystems.

Quotes

“To tackle climate change, to shield Canadians from its impacts, and to ensure that wildlife is protected we need to preserve and protect natural ecosystems. Trout Lake plays an incredibly important role and we are proud to partner with the Penticton Indian Band on it. We will keep working with communities across the country to support similar ecosystems.”

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

“The Okanagan Nation Alliance has been working hard to bring back the salmon to the Okanagan, and this funding is another step in the continuation of this work. When you look at salmon restoration, the salmon is just one part of a larger vision of creating an ecosystem that works together. We need to give back space to the creeks, we need to allow the water to once again talk to land. This project is part of broader efforts of the Syilx Nation to conserve and restore natural habitats and ecosystems in the region, benefiting both the environment and local communities.”

Chief Greg Gabriel, Penticton Indian Band

Quick Facts
  • The federal government is investing $563,118 in this project through the Natural Infrastructure Fund (NIF).
  • The Natural Infrastructure Fund supports projects that use natural or hybrid approaches to increase resilience to climate change, mitigate carbon emissions, protect and preserve biodiversity and wildlife habitats, and promote Canadians’ access to nature.
  • Examples of natural infrastructure include urban forests, street trees, wetlands, living dykes, bioswales, and naturalized coastal restoration.
  • Hybrid infrastructure incorporates elements of engineered grey infrastructure to enhance or support natural infrastructure and/or the use of ecosystem processes.
  • A minimum of 10% of the overall program envelope will be allocated to Indigenous-led projects.
Associated Links

Natural Infrastructure Fund
https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/nif-fin/index-eng.html 

Strengthened Climate Plan
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/weather/climatechange/climate-plan/climate-plan-overview.html 

Federal infrastructure investments in British Columbia
https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/prog-proj-bc-eng.html

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SOURCE Infrastructure Canada