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South Campbell Heights Development

Updated: Mar 8



In February 2021, the City of Surrey (while Doug McCallum was mayor) got Metro Vancouver's Urban Containment Boundary expanded to include a section of non-ALR land south of 16th avenue at 192nd street to be changed from rural / agricultural into business / industrial land. This land has a rich biodiversity inclusive of the salmon bearing Little Campbell River (LCR) running through the middle of it. This land's extremely valuable wildlife habitat, much of it designated critical habitat for barn owl, salish sucker, and painted turtles, and the presence of the LCR and its feeder tributaries within it should be more than sufficient to clearly identify this area as land that should not be turned into a business park. If anything, to ensure that future generations can know and experience the salmon running in the LCR and enjoy the beauty and the key wildlife habitat that is otherwise rapidly vanishing from this region, it should be turned into a Nature Park. This is particularly true given the huge increase in population in South Surrey in the past decade and very little new parkland designated to support this growing demand for green space. Designating this land as park land would help insure the protection of the biodiversity of this area, the river itself, and the five species of salmonids that use it to both spawn and spend their first year's growth in. This river is fed by both runoff and groundwater that comes from the precipitation the watershed receives. This endangered river is in a state of serious threat of no longer being able to function as a healthy spawning river due in part to development that has occurred in the region including the Campbell Heights development north of 20th avenue along the 192nd street corridor. Any further development would be a major cut in the analogy of "death by a thousand cuts", as land will be covered up with asphalt, concrete, and buildings, and despite best efforts, pollution will have more direct access into the river, as well as, artificial night light pollution. Further, the runoff will not be able to recharge the groundwater due to the impermeable paved surfaces and the river risks drying up. Many wetland creatures need to be able to move between wetlands and forested areas. Roadways and parking lots are huge obstacles and the loss of the forested area beside the river will make it next to impossible for wildlife, for example amphibian populations to survive. Many people wonder why they don't hear frogs or see fire flies or mushrooms any more - it is industrialization of these key moist habitats that remove these natural pleasures from your neighbourhood. Mature trees provide habitat, shelter, protection from the heat of summer and helps hold onto water. Loss of water infiltration into the ground and low flow of water into the river means there will not be enough water in the river to support aquatic life, including salmon fry. There are areas of the river that already dry up before summer hits leaving salmon fry (and other aquatic life) stranded to die. We cannot afford to put this river in further jeopardy.

To learn more about the project go to City of Surrey - South Campbell Heights . If you are concerned about this development and the health of the Little Campbell River you have the right to contact the City of Surrey's mayor and council at clerks@surrey.ca and ask that your email be sent to the mayor and councillors and to let you know when it was delivered to them. You can tell them you want the watershed and its voiceless inhabitants protected.

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