Beach Creek drains 700 hectares including the commercial core and village neighbourhood. Historical air photography indicated that the outlet of Beach Creek, near the foot of Memorial Avenue, had been highly altered by past development. The estuary has been infilled and the stream re-routed through culverts that have acted as a barrier to fish passage for over 65 years. Rapidly generated high volume runoff, laden with pollutants from the commercial core, directed to Beach Creek were degrading the habitat and natural condition of the Creek.
Following the Drainage Study of 1993, the Town began to undertake several infrastructure projects to divert the unsuitable runoff away from Beach Creek and in 1999, completed an innovative day-lighting of the Creek around development near the outlet that re-established fish access. Spawning Coho salmon have returned to this creek every year since. The estuary and foreshore improvements will also reduce the vulnerability of the outlet to being plugged or compromised during high water storm events.
This project re-establishes an artificial estuary for Beach Creek that will restore natural conditions to a creek outlet, enhance fish access and reduce predation on salmon returning to spawn. It will also install an upland sediment control structure in Beach Creek to eliminate the clam shell dredging, detrimental to fish habitat, currently employed in the golf course irrigation pond. The structures will allow sediment collection and deposition to the foreshore. Also, increase resiliency to extreme weather events and sea level rise by constructing a "soft" shore armouring approach as identified in the Waterfront Master Plan.
The Project Timeline
This project has been funding in part by the Province of BC and Federal Government through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund.