Heart, East Prairie rivers under review

Richard Froese
South Peace News
Big Lakes County has heard from the provincial environment minister about flooding concerns on the Heart and East Prairie rivers.

At its regular meeting Oct. 12, council received a letter from Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips.

“The Government of Alberta recognizes that this area has a long and complex issue of water management issues,” Phillips wrote.

To deal with flooding in the area after heavy rainfall in June, council wrote a letter to the minister seeking assistance.

“Environment and Parks continues to perform proactive annual routine maintenance on the channels and associated infrastructure,” the letter states.
“In addition, our department is studying an integrated water management approach, which views the area from a more holistic, ecological, social and economic perspective.
“An integrated water management approach also takes into consideration how the cumulative effects of activities, such as transportation structures and corridors, forestry and agricultural practices, and settlements, influence the frequency and severity of flooding in Buffalo Bay.

“Protecting the environment we live in is essential to growing Alberta,” Phillips says.
“With the support of community leaders like you, I am confident that we can make smart decisions that are focused on the long-term well-being of Alberta’s families, communities, public lands, forests, fish, and wildlife.”

According to the last inspection along East and West Prairie rivers in 2006, the drop structures appear to be stabilizing the riverbeds, resulting in an increased stabilization of the surrounding river banks.

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