The Fraser Basin Council has helped deliver well over 100 initiatives in the Fraser Basin and across BC and many other smaller projects in the past 16 years, thanks to our many partners and champions for sustainability in every sector.
Here are a few of the Fraser Basin Council’s shared successes. We look forward to many more!
In 1998 the FBC helped bring public attention to a serious pollution problem at the old Britannia Mine site, located partway between Vancouver and Whistler.
An active copper mine from 1902 to 1974, Britannia Mine became the largest single point source metal contamination problem in North America. Acid Rock Drainage from the old mine had severely damaged marine life in Howe Sound. Contaminated water, soil and sediments at the site were also a significant obstacle to the long-term economic and social development in the community.
FBC invited all orders of government, private sector bodies and the community to come together on a solution. As a result of that early work, later negotiations among the parties, and new contaminated sites legislation, progress was made. A settlement agreement was reached between the Province and former mine owners.
A new water treatment facility was built in 2005, and the results were worth it. Today, Britannia Beach is a vital, healthy community. And by 2011 Pink salmon were once again beginning to appear in the area — something hardly imaginable a decade ago! Read more.
Tackling Invasive Plants
Alien invasive plants are a big problem in BC. They disrupt natural ecosystems, overrun agricultural lands and harm local economies.
In 2001 the Fraser Basin Council brought together government, business and community interests for scientific grounding on the issues and to find new ways to collaborate. This led to an Invasive Plant Strategy for BC and creation of an Invasive Plant Council (now the Invasive Species Council of BC, or ISCBC).
Over 300 organizations province-wide have pledged support for the strategy. ISCBC is there to help educate and engage different sectors, encourage integration of data inventories, oversee research on biological controls and economic impacts, and assist regional committees. Read more.
Greening BC’s Fleets
Over the years, FBC has partnered on key initiatives to help public and private sector fleets increase efficiency and lower emissions. These include:
At a national level, FBC has created E3 Fleet, Canada’s only program for reviewing and rating the green performance of fleets. Today E3 Fleet has 120 public and private sector member organizations or divisions, operating more than 50,000 vehicles. Learn more about our work with fleets.
Fraser River Debris Trap
The Fraser River debris trap, located near Agassiz in the Fraser Valley, is a uniquely designed set of floating booms that intercepts large volumes of natural wood debris (45-55,000 cubic metres on average) during spring high water. Without the trap, woody debris would move into the lower reaches of the river and Strait of Georgia, posing a risk to human safety, navigation and foreshore structures.
A 2006 study commissioned by FBC shows that the trap offers widespread public benefits, avoids at least $8 million in costs of clean-up and repairs, and pays for itself 12 times over.
FBC was secretariat for the Fraser River Debris Trap Operating Committee for 12 years and worked to secure multi-party funding agreements to operate the facility. The future of the trap was secured when the Province of BC and Port Metro Vancouver stepped up a long-term funding and management agreement, beginning in April 2011.