The City of Kamloops is working to develop an adopt-a-beach program and a city-wide shoreline cleanup initiative after a councillor’s motion was adopted on Tuesday.
While introducing his motion on Tuesday, Coun. Mike O’Reilly said the historically low water levels offer the chance to complete a thorough shore cleanup.
“To me, this is a once in a lifetime or once in a generational opportunity at this point for how low the water levels will go for us to clean up areas that may not get the opportunity to be cleaned up for a very long time,” O’Reilly said.
He said the motion has come forward from people in the community who want to try and clean up beach areas, but there isn’t an easy way to do the work.
O’Reilly said the City of Kamloops could help facilitate such a process, adding Fisheries and Oceans Canada might need to be involved, along with CP Rail in Valleyview and the city’s Community Services division given dangers in some areas.
“That’s the basis of this first recommendation. It’s asking staff to figure out how the best way to engage the community is, and how the city can facilitate a city-wide beach cleanup — whether it be streams, rivers, or creeks.”
In his motion, O'Reilly noted the city has over 110 kilometres of shoreline between the Thompson Rivers, Peterson Creek, Guerin Creek and Campbell Creek.
The motion directs staff to report back to council with findings including an appropriate time of year, a strategy for engaging neighbourhood associations and how the City of Kamloops can play a facilitating role for the clean-up initiative.
O’Reilly’s motion further recommends that once the initial clean-up has been done, the city should start up an adopt-a-beach and adopt-a-creek program so the shorelines can be maintained.
“This, I believe, will be a simple program for staff to implement,” O’Reilly said, adding he envisions the initiative working similarly to adopt-a-road and adopt-a-trail programs.
Coun. Nancy Bepple said she believes there will be a huge uptake for the shoreline cleanup initiative.
“I know that there's a number of canoe and paddle clubs that are very interested in this opportunity,” Bepple said.
Council voted unanimously in favour of both recommendations in O’Reilly’s motion.