The Mission Creek Restoration Initiative (MCRI) steering committee is proud to release its Lower Mission Creek Habitat Conservation & Restoration Plan, which provides recommendations to restore ecosystem values and improve flood protection in the lower 12 km of creek between East Kelowna Bridge and Okanagan Lake.
“If no action is taken creek values will continue to decline and flood risk will increase,” says MCRI project coordinator Steve Matthews. “Therefore, the plan was designed to restore and protect the creek’s abundant ecological, social, cultural, recreational, economic, and water-supply values and benefits for the Okanagan.”
Dedicated to the memory of long-time MCRI member Don Dobson, the plan is designed to counteract the impacts of land-development and flood-protection efforts starting in the 1950s that significantly reduced creek length, width, and habitat. The recommended conservation and restoration measures will expand fish and wildlife habitat and populations, improve flood protection, and increase climate resilience over time.
“Research and recommendations in this plan were meticulously undertaken and developed by the steering committee,” says Matthews. “We understand natural systems much better now than we did when the creek was channelized decades ago. We’re now taking the lead from Mother Nature to undertake the studies and engineering design needed to conserve and restore the creek to its full value as a natural resource and community asset.”
Matthews adds, “The plan also documents the history and ecology of Mission Creek to provide a starting point for understanding its importance to the Syilx Okanagan Nation, the local community, and the wider Okanagan Basin.”
While still monitoring, evaluating, and refining the large-scale restoration project completed in 2019 between Casorso Road and Gordon Drive, the steering committee is now considering two projects recommended in the plan. The one chosen will be proposed for 2023/2024 if the needed funding can be secured through federal and provincial grants.
MCRI acknowledges that its work occurs in the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Syilx/Okanagan people. MCRI is also grateful to Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Okanagan Basin Water Board, and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC for support throughout plan development.
The MCRI steering committee includes representatives from BC’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development; City of Kelowna; Regional District of Central Okanagan; Westbank First Nation; Okanagan Nation Alliance; Central Okanagan Land Trust; Friends of Mission Creek; and BC Conservation Foundation.
Joanne de Vries, MCRI Outreach Coordinator
250-300-8797 / email@example.com
Steve Matthews, MCRI Project Coordinator
250-809-9840 / firstname.lastname@example.org