Mission Creek at KLO Road on June 15

Mission Creek at KLO Road on June 15

Improvements to the ecosystem: Plan put in place to improve Kelowna’s Mission Creek

Two projects involved in the plan have the goal to be completed by 2025

New plans are being put in place to prevent flooding in the Lower Mission area of Kelowna.

On Thursday (Sept. 8), the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative (MCRI) announced the Lower Mission Creek Habitat Conservation and Restoration Plan. The plan is looking to improve flooding and restore ecosystems on the 12-kilometre stretch of Mission Creek from Okanagan Lake to East Kelowna Bridge.

“If no action is taken creek values will continue to decline and flood risk will increase,” said MCRI Coordinator and Plan Author Steve Matthews. “Therefore, the plan was designed to restore and protect the creek’s abundant ecological, social, cultural, recreational, and economic values and benefits for the Okanagan.”

Over time, the creek’s length and width, along with the area’s habitat has been reduced because of land development plans. The recommended plan is to expand and grow the fish and wildlife habitats and population as well as improving flood protection in the area. They also want to grow the creek’s resiliency against the various climates.

“The recommendations in this plan were meticulously developed by the steering committee over a two-year period,” said Matthews. “We understand natural systems much better now than we did when the creek was channelized decades ago. We’re now in a good position to move forward with the engineered designs needed to conserve and restore creek values as a natural resource and community asset.”

The committee is continuing to look at the effects to the area from one of their previous project plans that was completed in 2019 between Gordon Drive and Casorso Road. At the same time, the MCRI is evaluated two new projects that are under the new plan with the goal of having them complete by 2025. Having the new projects complete depends on funding from provincial and federal grants.

“The plan also provides an extensive compendium of detailed information on Mission Creek, including 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,” said Matthews.

The full plan can be found here.

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