Federal funding to protect Surrey from potentially disastrous impacts of coastal flooding

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum
Photo by Jay Sharma of Mahi Photo Studio

THE federal government on Friday announced funding to support a number of initiatives to safeguard the cities of Surrey and Delta and the Semiahmoo First Nation from the potentially disastrous impacts of coastal flooding.

The investment of over $76 million through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund will allow the regional governments, in partnership with the Semiahmoo First Nation, to implement a comprehensive flood adaptation strategy that will increase resilience for over 125,000 residents who are at high risk of coastal flooding, and provide significant long-term savings on recovery and replacement costs.

Key components of the project include replacing the aging Nicomekl and Serpentine sea dams, upgrading 7.5 kilometres of the Colebrook dyke, establishing a riverfront park on the Nicomekl River with natural flood-attenuating features, installing 1.5 new kilometres of storm sewers, upgrading two pump stations and building two new “living dykes”.

Other work will be carried out including innovative nature based solutions developed through collaboration such as foreshore enhancements in the City of Delta, upgrades to Mud Bay Park and building a new park on the Nicomekl River to help control and disperse flood waters, while safeguarding the health of the Pacific Flyway and marine environment. These natural areas link with transportation upgrades such as raising 152nd Street to make it more flood resilient, and replacing the bridges over the Nicomekl River and the Little Campbell River.

Once complete, these projects will significantly increase the region’s resiliency to flooding and provide residents with peace of mind knowing their community can continue to thrive through any situation.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support this comprehensive strategy to build flood resilience on the Semihmoo First Nation and in the communities of Surrey and Delta. Investing today will reduce future recovery costs and prevent critical infrastructure failures. These investments create good, well-paying middle class jobs, and set the stage for long-term economic growth that benefits everyone,” said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, on behalf of François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said: “With 20% of Surrey’s land within the coastal floodplain area, it is vital that we take action now. I want to thank the Federal Government for the significant investment they have made today in helping us fight climate change. As a result of this new funding, the City of Surrey along with all of our partners will be able to increase and enhance the work we are doing to protect our coastal areas from flooding and other natural hazards.”