Public input invited as dike master plan developed for the Siyích'em Reserve and eagle viewing area

The District of Squamish and Squamish Nation are developing a master plan for the Squamish River dike in the Siyích'em Reserve and eagle viewing area along Government Road in Brackendale. The project will focus on important flood protection upgrades and habitat restoration and protection work and will take into consideration the existing uses and residences within the area. The public is invited to complete a survey to voice their values and interests associated with the project site in order to help inform the development of the master plan. The survey is online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XK6W8T9

"This is an opportunity for the public to help shape an important asset within our community – one which provides critical flood protection to many residents and businesses, and also sees a significant volume of visitor traffic for eagle viewing among other things,” says District of Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott. “Our collaboration with the Squamish Nation and our community are integral to the success of this design process and we want to hear about the values of the area that are important to you as we create this plan.”

The master plan is a key recommendation of the District’s Integrated Flood Hazard Management Plan due the known deficiencies in this section of dike which includes its history of seepage and piping issues. The plan will consider possible dike alignments and other flood protection options for the area that take into account the existing uses and residences in the area. The plan will include geotechnical investigative work, technical analysis and community consultation, and prepare a concept design that incorporates community needs such as parking, public amenities and the potential for trail connectivity. The plan will also set the stage for future budgeting and construction.

“The dike plays an instrumental role in ensuring the safety of Squamish Nation members and neighbouring residents. By collaborating with the District of Squamish on this dike master plan project, we are taking a government-to-government approach to public engagement that will ensure our community’s knowledge and perspectives are reflected in the final plan,” says Khelsilem, Squamish Nation Councillor and Spokesperson. “The restoration and protection of habitat around the dike will remain a top priority for the Nation throughout the planning process.”

The project is fully funded through a $270,000 National Disaster Mitigation Program grant awarded to the District of Squamish for completion of the master plan.

To learn more about the project and to launch the survey, visit https://squamish.ca/eaglesiyichemdike

Fast Facts:

  • The largest flood on record in Squamish was in 2003 which resulted in an evacuation of approximately 100 residents.
  • Older homes and commercial buildings built prior to flood construction levels and buildings located in low-lying areas would experience the greatest impact and damage should a major flood event occur.
  • The District’s Integrated Flood Hazard Management Plan(2017) is a comprehensive flood management strategy with over 100 specific tools designed to manage flood risk in Squamish. 
  • Raising, widening and strengthening one kilometre of the Squamish River dike between the Aikwucks and Waiwakum Squamish Nation Reserves was completed in September to significantly reduce the risk of flooding and protect residential, commercial and environmentally sensitive areas in Brackendale, Garibaldi Estates and Squamish Nation reserve lands.
  • Dike construction at the Siyích'em Reserve and eagle viewing area will be a future phase of this project following the determination of flood protection options, funding and public engagement.

 

October 18, 2019

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