After years of work and lobbying various levels of government, Ladner's sediment problem could soon be a thing of the past.
On Monday morning, a $10-million project to dredge the secondary channels in the Fraser River in Ladner and Steveston. The project is a collaboration between Port Metro Vancouver, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Corporation of Delta and the City of Richmond.
The project also includes funds for maintenance dredging for up to the next 10 years.
"Dredging these local channels, and the provision of funding for ongoing maintenance dredging, ensures that we can continue to generate economic benefits for our community," said Delta Mayor Lois Jackson.
Both Delta and PMV had already committed funds for dredging - $2 million form Delta and $2.75 million from the port authority - on the condition that Ottawa and the province also come to the table with funding.
The province is contributing $3 million and the City of Richmond has also committed up to $2 million.
"Local residents and business owners have told us that silt buildup on the Fraser is a problem for them," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Mary Polak. "We have listened and responded by developing a collaborative dredging plan... Starting in 2013, new dredging will eliminate the growing navigation hazard, helping residents and business owners, without damaging the local environment."
The dredging work is expected to begin in July.
"I'm really happy to see that the province and feds have stepped up to the plate because it wouldn't have happened without them," said Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington, who championed the cause and worked with the Ladner Sediment Group to bring attention to the growing need for dredging in local channels.
Concerned residents established the Ladner Sediment Group in 2008 to bring attention to the issue with all levels of government.