Life restored to stagnant Okanagan River oxbow in Penticton | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Life restored to stagnant Okanagan River oxbow in Penticton

Dredging of a portion of the Okanagan River oxbows in Penticton was completed today, Sept. 19, 2016, marking the end of a project to restore life to a section of the former waterway that had filled up with storm sewer sediment.
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September 19, 2016 - 8:00 PM

PENTICTON - A Penticton environmental group is excited to see a project almost a decade in the making come to a conclusion this week.

Friends of the Penticton Oxbows chair Ray Halladay says the work on a project to restore a section of the Okanagan River oxbows near Brandon Avenue wrapped up today, Sept. 19.

Halladay says the project started eight years ago when several of the group’s members living on Brandon Avenue began working with the city to dredge the oxbow and fix a nearby storm sewer to prevent it from dumping sediment into the former Okanagan River channel.

Last year, part of the project was completed when the city budgeted for and built an interceptor on Brandon Avenue to catch sediment from the storm sewer in a one metre diameter pipe. Halladay says that stopped the problem from continuing, but didn’t remove sediment that had been accumulating in the oxbow for decades.

The city applied for four different permits needed to finish the project, scheduled for August and September this year, in order to avoid issues with endangered species living in the oxbows.

Trucks and heavy equipment have been working in the area for the past few weeks removing the accumulated debris, and reseeding will begin in the area next week.

Halladay says the group would like to see all the oxbows enhanced and reconnected with each other.

He says many sections of the oxbows have become stagnant since construction of the Okanagan River Channel. The group would also like to restore flowing water to the oxbows in the future.

“We’d like to express our thanks to the city and the Penticton Indian Band and Chief Jonathan Kruger for their support,” Halladay says, noting the city has also endorsed the project and consulted with the group as partner of the city.

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