The City of New Westminster announced it will receive $800,000 from the provincial government’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF), administered by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), to put towards rehabilitation of the Queensborough dike to better protect the growing residential and commercial community against floods.

The City secured provincial funding for the Queensborough Dike Shoreline Protection Rehabilitation project, which focuses on restabilizing eroding dike slopes at two locations on the northeast side of Lulu Island; one behind 345 Gifford Street and the other behind 805 Boyd Street. While the land use around these areas are commercial and industrial, the failure of the dike would impact the residential area further inland, as well as the bordering City of Richmond. The project also includes vegetation planting, which will help achieve biodiversity benefits by providing onshore habitat for birds and small animals.

“Queensborough is one of the fastest growing neighbourhoods in the Lower Mainland, and residents there want to know that the City is being proactive in addressing flood mitigation,” said Mayor Patrick Johnstone. “With the anticipated impacts of climate disruption, building long-term flood resilience requires partnership between provincial and municipal governments. Thank you to UBCM and the Province for this investment in the City of New Westminster’s dike enhancement.”

New Westminster was one of several communities to receive provincial funding through CEPF under the Disaster Risk Reduction – Climate Adaption stream, a program that supports communities in preparing for climate-related emergencies and mitigating risks from floods and extreme temperatures.

“With the unpredictability of weather, having plans and infrastructure in place to keep people safe is essential,” said Aman Singh, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough. “Our government remains dedicated to building resilient communities, ensuring that both existing and new infrastructure are built to last.”

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The dike rehabilitation project is in alignment with the Flood Management Strategy, which was first developed in 2009-2011 to identify and prioritize measures to provide protection to its flood susceptible lands. The Strategy designates Queensborough, which has 350 hectares of designated floodplain, as the highest priority for flood protection improvements in the city. An update to the Flood Management Strategy is currently underway and will be completed during 2023.

Featured image: (City of New Westminster)

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