BC Hydro plans on placing rip-rap in an erosion channel to protect the airport wetlands.

BC Hydro plans on placing rip-rap in an erosion channel to protect the airport wetlands.

BC Hydro to start Revelstoke airport wetlands protection project

Work will begin next week on a project to protect the Revelstoke airport wetlands, BC Hydro announced today.

Work will begin this week on a project to protect the Revelstoke airport wetlands, BC Hydro announced.

The Airport Slough Wetland Protection Project will see BC Hydro place rip-rap on a Columbia River erosion channel in order to prevent the wetlands from draining.

According to BC Hydro, a 115-metre long, Y-shaped erosion channel has been expanding towards the wetlands as a result of Columbia River flows, snowmelt and reservoir operations. The channel runs into the flats just south of the Illecillewaet River and north of Machete Island.

The goal of the project is to see if the rip-rap can prevent the channel from expanding towards the wetland and draining it. The wetland is regarded as prime bird and wildlife habitat.

The project is expected to take three weeks to complete, says BC Hydro. Recreationalists in the area are asked to be mindful of heavy equipment that will be accessing the area from road on the south side of the Illecillewaet River near the Selkirk Saddle Club.

The project is one of three being done by BC Hydro in the Revelstoke area. Later this year, nest boxes will be placed throughout the flats to provide additional nesting habitat for ducks.

In the spring, work will begin on a project to protect and expand the Cartier Bay wetland at 8 Mile.