Chilliwack – The City of Chilliwack is considering ways to reduce excessive motorized watercraft speeds along the Vedder River/Canal, and is seeking feedback and ideas from river users online at engagechilliwack.com/boats.
In addition to being a popular area for anglers, non-motorized watercraft, and families on the shoreline, the Vedder River is home to sensitive wildlife, including salmon; borders the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve and key dyke infrastructure; and represents Stó:lō culture, tradition and identity. As the area continues to grow more popular, fast moving watercraft in this area create risks to public safety, the environment, and dyke infrastructure.
To address public concerns and to allow everyone to enjoy the Vedder River safely, the City is investigating options to enforce a reduction in motorized vessel speeds between the Vedder Bridge and the Vedder Canal’s confluence with the Fraser River.
“This corridor is Chilliwack’s most popular outdoor recreational area,” said Mayor Popove. “We want everyone to be able to enjoy our natural spaces safely and respectfully, and look forward to hearing from the community on this issue.”
The Vedder River/Canal is considered a navigable waterway by Transport Canada and falls under the Federal Navigation Protection Act. While the City cannot prohibit motorized watercraft on the river, alternative options such as applying for a federally approved watercraft speed restriction are being considered.
Share your feedback and ideas with the City of Chilliwack at engagechilliwack.com/boats by August 6. Residents can also pick up paper copies of the survey from City Hall’s front ticket windows at 8550 Young Road, drop off their feedback in writing at City Hall’s 24 hour drop box, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604.793.2810 to share their thoughts.