Thursday, April 21 2011 @ 09:31 PM EDT
Contributed by: gemini
Outdoor Recreation Council
of British Columbia
April 18, 2011
“Sacred headwaters” in second spot - list highlights issues such as the need for water policy reform and improved protection of northern rivers
The Kettle River has topped British Columbia’s most endangered rivers list for 2011.
The Kettle River runs through BC’s southern interior near the towns of Midway, Rock Creek and Grand Forks. This river, already suffering from excessive water withdrawals, seasonal low flows and high water temperatures, is threatened by significant new water extraction proposals near its source. The river is in dire need of a water management plan that recognizes there are clear ecological limits to the amount of water that can be withdrawn. Unless greater efforts are made to address this issue, the fate of this beautiful interior stream and its fish stocks may well foreshadow what many other streams in the region will confront in the face of ongoing climate change.
“Most importantly, the issues unfolding on the Kettle highlight the urgency of updating BC’s century-old Water Act so as to ensure the needs of fish and river ecosystems are adequately considered before making decisions on water extraction for various industrial uses”, said Mark Angelo, Rivers Chair of the Outdoor Recreation Council and an Order of Canada recipient. The province has just concluded seeking public input on Water Act reform, and new legislation is hoped for in the coming year. “Modernizing the Water Act creates a significant opportunity to improve the state of many waterways, including the Kettle”, said Angelo.
BC’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2011;
1. Kettle River(water extraction, development)
2. “Sacred Headwaters” of Skeena, Nass and Stikine (coalbed methane)
3. Peace River(hydro-electric dam proposal)
4. Fraser River, “Heart of the Fraser”(urbanization, industrial development, habitat loss)
5. Kokish River(IPP proposal)
6. Morice (pipeline proposal)
7. Taku River(mining development, road proposal, leachate concerns)
8. Similkameen River(cross border dam proposal)
9. Elk River(development, increasing selenium levels, wildlife migration issues)
10. Coquitlam River(excessive sedimentation, urbanization)
11. Bute Inlet Rivers (IPP proposal)
12. Atlin River (impacts of dam and Whitehorse, Yukon energy proposal)
For more detailed information on the the endangered rivers listed, please see the Media Release and the Backgrounder HERE