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Community group fundraising for dredging of Oyama Canal

Oyama Canal

Posted on July 31, 2023

The dredging of Oyama Canal could finally take place later this year if a community group planning the work can raise the necessary funds.

The Oyama Canal FAR Management Society has been active for about four years trying to get the necessary permits to dredge the canal.

“For the last four years we’ve been battling with the provincial and federal governments to get the approval for our Section 11 to dredge Oyama Canal,” says Andrew Spear one of the co-founders of the society.

“We have passed every hurdle and have agreed to the dredging depth of 3.8 feet plus whatever water is on the surface, so now we have started a GoFundMe campaign.”

Because they have to dredge this year and have a contingency in place in case they need to do the work again next year, Spear says they are looking to raise $250,000.

They have a commitment of $27,000 from two local businesses but only a few hundred dollars from the online campaign thus far.

It’s been nearly three decades since the 180 metre long canal linking Wood Lake and Kalamalka Lake was last dredged.

Spear says sediment build-up over that period of time has made the canal hazardous to use and, when lake levels are low, completely impassable.

“Not only is it hazardous for the pleasure craft operators navigating the canal but the emergency response time via boat to a situation on the south end of Kalamalaka is significantly impacted.

“Since it’s a federal waterway, everyone is supposed to have safe passage through, but the government has left it.”

The municipality has also not contributed to the cause.


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