After the catastrophic fires and flood of 2021, CRS was contracted by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to remove flood debris in partnership with the Indigenous communities of Coldwater, Lower Nicola, Nooaitch, Shackan and Cook’s Ferry. These floods damaged communities and cultural sites, destroyed transportation corridors, and severely impacted local economies and infrastructure. Within weeks, CRS had developed methodologies and protocols related to large-scale habitat and cultural concerns and onboarded and trained more than 200 Indigenous employees to engage in flood restoration work.
306,775 kgs of Debris Removed
200+ Community Members Employed
In March 2022, emergency response funding was made available by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (MECCS) to support the clean-up of Linear Anthropogenic Debris (LAD) from the Thompson, Nicola and Coldwater waterways. In mid-March, Coastal Restoration Society (CRS) and Ocean Legacy Foundation (OLF), were contracted to support atmospheric river recovery efforts. Indigenous Governments, community partners and local businesses were also engaged to further support this effort.
Phase 1 of the clean-up operations – from April-June, 2022 – were a success with the removal of over 570 tonnes of debris from five main clean-up areas: Cook's Ferry, Shackan, Nooaitch, Lower Nicola Indian Band and Coldwater. During this 3-month operational phase, over 118 local community members were employed and 464 community members participated in training courses with 293 certificates obtained. The focus of Phase 2 (July-November, 2022) remained economic stimulus, environmental remediation and capacity building among impacted communities. Working in partnership with local Indigenous communities, CRS has developed innovative frameworks for large-scale climate emergency response and created foundational training and employment pathways for local communities to build skills for ongoing and future climate response projects.