Mission Creek’s history being explored in video series

The MCRI’s vision is “restoring and protecting Mission Creek to enrich historical, ecological, and recreational values for the Okanagan.”

  • Jul. 5, 2016 7:00 p.m.

The first phase of the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative project is nearly complete.

Mission Creek’s story — from when it was first diked in the 1950s to current efforts to restore its flow — is being chronicled in a video series by Copper Sky Productions and Rubicon Aerial Cinema.

Viewers of the series will learn that while this prevented spring runoff from submerging nearby lands, it reduced the creek’s length in the lower reaches by 60 per cent. In turn, 75 per cent of wetlands were lost, and spawning habitat was reduced by a whopping 80 per cent.

“Ecological damage was first reported by the Syilx people decades ago,” reads an update from the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative.

“In the mid-1990s, the province studied kokanee declines and committed to building back their numbers by restoring a more natural, meandering creek route. Also in the ‘90s, the Friends of Mission Creek kick-started the Mission Creek Greenway, which sparked public interest in restoration. Together, these efforts spawned the multi-partner, multi-phase Mission Creek Restoration Initiative (MCRI) in 2002.”

The MCRI’s vision is “restoring and protecting Mission Creek to enrich historical, ecological, and recreational values for the Okanagan.”

More specifically, its mission is to restore fish and wildlife stocks and habitat, conserve and expand biodiversity and protect species at risk, improve flood protection, inspire and support community stewardship, and nurture partnerships and secure funds that support restoration efforts.

Currently the pilot restoration project between Casorso Road and Gordon Drive is almost complete.

The dike was realigned to quadruple floodplain areas, which are already accommodating water from spring runoff while providing robust fish and wildlife habitats. After completion of additional fish habitat restoration in summer 2016, this area will be closely monitored to assess project effectiveness and ensure a high level of ecosystem benefits are maintained over the long term.

To learn more about this and other creek restoration work, visit www.missioncreek.ca. For more info, contact:

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