Urbanization is having an impact on the shoreline of Okanagan Lake.
That’s one of the findings of natural resource biologist Jason Schleppe who conducted foreshore mapping last year.
“One of the biggest results that came from this is that, as we see the level or urbanization increase, going from, say, rural to single family, to multi family to industrial or sort of increasing a level of urbanization, the associated levels of impact increase.”
Schleppe, who is with Ecoscapes Consultants, told Vernon council, wildlife and fish have trouble adapting to the development.
“We need to transition our thought from managing from the current short period of time to managing in the long run. Where do we want to see our lake 100 years from now, or 150 years from now? These are the questions that are becoming very important.”
He is urging the city to develop a lake management plan that puts priority on rural and natural areas.
“Changes are happening very rapidly, and fish, wildlife, animals cannot adapt quickly enough. They don`t have the ability to adapt and change.”
Councillor Brian Quiring challenged Schleppe’s findings, suggesting the province’s riparian regulations are working to protect lakes.
Councillor Juliette Cunningham said while there are rules, there is almost no enforcement, and the province needs to provide more resources.