PROJECT UPDATE  |  JULY 3, 2024

STUWI(x) Project: Funding Received

Author: Flood Mitigation Team

Following the severe flooding in late 2021, the City of Merritt developed and adopted a comprehensive Flood Mitigation Plan, estimated to cost $109 million to complete. The City is prioritizing critical repair and mitigation projects as funding becomes available.

The Flood Mitigation Team has successfully secured funding to revitalize the lands at the end of Pine Street. This funding will support the permanent establishment of the natural river channel at the confluence of the Coldwater and Nicola Rivers. The project will utilize the Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) Green Infrastructure – Adaptation, Resilience, and Disaster Mitigation (Green ARDM) grant stream. Initially, this project has been titled the STUWI(x) Naturalization Project.

The properties on the site are being purchased from the landowners with funds provided by the Green ARDM grant. The Flood Mitigation Department is engaging local Rightsholders and stakeholders through a Steering Committee to guide the naturalization project. The draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for this committee will be finalized collaboratively.

Plan Forward…

Key assumptions for the project include:

  • Removal of all infrastructure from the properties
  • Adherence to the project budget
  • Obtaining necessary permits
  • Removal of the temporary dike along the Coldwater River
  • Ensuring the final land use allows public access
  • Ideally, the site will not include any permanent buildings.

Naturalization of the site will increase biodiversity in the area, decrease overland flood risk both upstream and downstream, and decrease ice jam stress points.  This project is an important piece of the 2023 Flood Mitigation Plan that will further assist with safeguarding our community.

JOIN THE

STUWI(x) Steering Committee

Author: Flood Mitigation Team

Are you interested in joining an important initiative to naturalize a crucial habitat area at the confluence of the Nicola and Coldwater Rivers? The City of Merritt, led by the Flood Mitigation Department, invites residents to apply for the role of Community Representative on the STUWI(x) Steering Committee.

One Community Representative position is available for up to a two-year term, commencing August 2024.

As a Community Representative, you will collaborate with fellow steering committee members, the Chair, and a Facilitator to guide the implementation of the STUWI(x) Naturalization Project. This project aims to enhance water quality, wildlife habitat, natural vegetation, and fish habitat, while also supporting the river’s natural stream flow to reduce bank stress and flood hazards both at the confluence and upstream.

Community Representatives are expected to contribute to the Steering Committee in the following ways:

  • Be prepared to commit time and energy to the project. Time spent in bi-monthly meetings and travel expenses to/from meetings will be compensated.
  • Attend meetings in person on a bi-weekly basis, held within the Merritt area.
  • Be committed to examining various issues and ideas objectively and collaboratively.
  • Serve for up to two years (with the possibility of subsequent time).
  • Be familiar with the council-adopted Terms-of-Reference and be committed to upholding the terms and goals of the project.
  • Receive and respond to correspondence by e-mail.
  • Have no conflict of interest with the site

Preference will be given to applicants who:

  • Have a demonstrated track record of positive community involvement or committee experience.
  • Have a strong connection and desire to assist with restoration projects, whether through professional certification, lived experience, or other special interest in river naturalization.
  • Reside in the City of Merritt.

For more information about the role and expectations of Community Representatives and the STUWI(x) Steering Committee, applicants should review the following:

Ready to apply? Please summarize your interest and how you feel your participation would positively impact this project in 350 words or more, and send to the STUWI(x) Chair below by July 15, 2024:

By email (preferred) to the STUWI(x) Chair: Charlene Joe: cjoe@Merritt.ca

Quote “STUWI(x) Steering Committee Expression of Interest” in subject line.

Thank you for your interest! Short-listed candidates will be contacted directly.

2021 FLOOD

Review + Repair

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Mayor, Council and Staff respectfully acknowledge that the City of Merritt is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Nlaka’pamux and Syilx people.