The City of Abbotsford has over 700 kilometres of watercourses and ditches, as well as numerous lakes, ponds and wetlands. These aquatic habitats support populations of important fish and wildlife species and the City of Abbotsford has completed a number of initiatives to better understand and protect these important habitats.
In 2005, the City initiated a stream mapping program to enable City staff to make better decision with respect to land use and operations, as well as provide information to land managers and the community at large. Mapping is ongoing and results of stream mapping can be viewed on the City WebMap.
In addition to collecting information to support responsible land use decisions, the City protects watercourses and streamside areas through bylaws such as the Waterways Protection Bylaw and Streamside Protection Bylaw, under the guidance of the City's Habitat Review Panel. For general information on the Streamside Protection Bylaw (i.e. what setbacks are required, what types of activities are permitted within the setback area, and what you can do to improve the health of the streamside vegetation) please refer to the Living Near Streams and Ravines booklet. For more detailed information on developing near streams including information on the Habitat Review Panel, please refer to the Information Package for Developing Near Streams and Ravines document.
In addition to City of Abbotsford bylaws, watercourses are protected by senior government legislation administered by departments/agencies such as the BC Ministry of Environment, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Environment Canada.