This project received the ACEC-BC Award of Excellence in 2012.
Partington Creek lies in a near ‘greenfield’ watershed covered mainly by second growth forest, and its headwaters are protected in Pinecone Burke Provincial Park. The watershed supports rich aquatic and wildlife ecosystems. There are key fish species present in the creek, and the lower reaches are among the most productive Coho spawning streams in the Lower Mainland. The lower watershed area was designated for urban-type development including a village centre, and the creek and watershed were at risk of significant impacts from the planned development.
The City of Coquitlam initiated both the Partington Creek Integrated Watershed Management Plan (IWMP) and the Partington Creek Neighbourhood Plan concurrently, and successfully integrated the disciplines of land use planning, engineering and environment protection between these two studies. The IWMP study focused on three key issues:
- mitigating impacts associated with significant future development
- reducing channel sedimentation and associated road/agricultural land flooding, and
- reducing sediment delivery to DeBoville Slough.
The elements of the study worked together to produce an integrated and comprehensive plan for the watershed, including:
- environmental inventory
- hydrogeological assessment of baseflows and infiltration opportunities
- calibrated hydrologic and hydraulic modelling
- drainage structure and erosion assessment, and
- ecological health assessment.
Focus was placed on allowing development to proceed while protecting the environment and consulting with stakeholders.
The recommended IWMP is the culmination of extensive work by an integrated team including multi-departmental City Staff, multidisciplinary consulting team, DFO and the project Advisory Committee. The plan strives to mitigate the impacts of proposed development and provide fish habitat improvements that will result in a “net-environmental benefit” for the long-term health of the watershed as a whole.