There are many kilometers of creeks, streams and rivers stretching across Coquitlam. Protecting these watercourses is important as they offer valuable services such as providing habitat for many aquatic plants and animals. The City coordinates a variety of watercourse enhancement initiatives, implements monitoring programs and supports legislation to protect our watercourses.
Help Protect Fish and Aquatic Life
Did you know that storm drains – and anything poured into them – empty directly into local creeks and streams?
Pool and cleaning chemicals, pesticides, paint, solvents, oil and other toxins require careful disposal.
Using storm drains to dispose of these and other toxins is not only harmful to fish and other wildlife – killing thousands of fish in local waterways in recent years – but could lead to penalties under the City’s Stream and Drainage System Protection Bylaw and from provincial and federal authorities.
How to Properly Dispose of Chemicals
Residents and property owners are responsible for properly disposing of hazardous materials. Use Coquitlam’s Waste Wizard or visit www.rcbc.ca to search for safe disposal locations.
Ways to Help at Home
Wash cars on the lawn or at a car wash to prevent soapy water from entering the storm drain;
Do not use pesticides on your lawn or gardens;
Fix oil and transmission leaks and recycle all used oil and antifreeze (check Waste Wizard for recycling and disposal options);
Sweep walkways and driveways – hosing them down washes litter, oil and pollutants into storm drains;
Never drain hot tub or swimming pool water or chemicals into storm drains – search www.rcbc.ca for disposal options;
During home renovation and construction projects, keep dirt, paint and wet concrete away from storm drains and streams; and
Keep pets away from streams – animal waste is polluting, and pets can erode streambanks, cause siltation and disturb fish and wildlife.
See below for other ways to help.
Integrated Watershed Management
For all urban watersheds, Coquitlam is developing Integrated Watershed Management Plans (IWMP) to preserve watershed health, while also meeting community needs and facilitating growth and development. IWMP’s use a Net Environmental Benefit approach that strives to improve fish and fish habitat.
The Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable is a collaborative body that coordinates and implements activities which promote the long-term sustainability of the watershed, based on the agreed-to values and vision of the watershed. The formation of the Roundtable was the successful outcome of a multi-phase, five year watershed planning process aimed at improving collaboration and problem-solving among the many stakeholders in the watershed.
The Roundtable does not have authority to make decisions that are the jurisdictional or legislative responsibility of governments or the legal responsibility of any other entity that is participating in the Roundtable. Governments and government agencies will participate, but the Roundtable is an independent entity, not under government direction.
The Roundtable is guided by a Core Committee, representing the diverse sectors of interest in the watershed. Given adequate resources, Community Roundtable meetings are held once or twice a year to allow the participation of anyone in the public who supports the Roundtable’s mission.
The types of activities the Roundtable undertakes, given adequate resources, include coordinating monitoring efforts, implementing the Lower Coquitlam River Watershed Plan, sponsoring educational events, or working towards consensus on issues that affect the watershed.
For more information on the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable:
In partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the City of Coquitlam offers local residents and community groups the opportunity to protect our streams by marking storm drains with yellow fish.
The yellow fish remind us that the storm drains on our roadways empty directly into local streams and anything that goes into the drains could affect fish and other wildlife. We need to work together to keep toxic substances from entering the storm drains and flowing into our streams.
Interested in marking the storm drains in your neighbourhood? Contact the Water Conservation Coordinator by emailing Water Conservation or calling 604-927-3546 for more information. Educational brochures to hand out to the neighbourhood and all storm drain marking supplies will be provided.
Want to provide hands-on help? Consider volunteering for the Hoy/Scott Watershed Society, which operates a salmon hatchery on Hoy Creek.
Volunteers assist with daily fish feedings, hatchery operations, tree planting, invasive plant removal, trail cleanups, stream surveys, public education and at public events. Visit www.hoyscottcreeks.org to learn more.