British Columbia

Vancouver councillor pitches 'blueway' from False Creek to Fraser River

Coun. Michael Wiebe has put forward a motion to formalize the restoration of a waterway from False Creek to the Fraser River.

Formal waterway plan would commit to restoring buried streams and watershed habitat

Still Creek in Vancouver, pictured here, is an example of a stream that has been daylighted, a term that describes the process of bringing long-buried streams up to the surface. (Uytae Lee/CBC)

A Vancouver councillor has put forward a motion to create a plan to restore a waterway from False Creek to the Fraser River.

Green Party Coun. Michael Wiebe's motion calls for the China Creek watershed and the Brunette watershed, much of which runs through the Central Valley Greenway and the B.C. Parkway, to be formally connected.

The waterway would run through the cities of Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster.

"[This] would increase access to water for local residents across three of B.C.'s largest communities," the motion reads.

Daylighting streams

The City of Vancouver has dozens of streams and creeks that have been long buried or diverted through pipes due to development. 

The process of bringing long-buried streams up to the surface — known as daylighting — has been part of the city's urban renewal process for decades.

According to the motion, restored streams "can revive and protect ecosystems within our urban communities to help cities deal with the impacts of climate change. They improve water quality, absorb carbon and heavy rainfall, buffer floods, protect and expand urban forests and increase biodiversity and wildlife habitats."

This motion, Wiebe explained, will help formalize and streamline the work done to restore different stream networks in the region.

Ultimately, Wiebe said, he would love to be able to swim again in False Creek.

The motion goes before council on May 14.

With files from Justin McElroy

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