Improving flood protection and building habitats

June 19, 2024

The City of Kelowna is excited to announce the planned installation of four riffles – shallow landforms constructed from rocks – to Mission Creek this summer. This is the first of three projects during the next three years to adapt and upgrade the Mill Creek Diversion outlet to Mission Creek as part of the Mill Creek Flood Protection project.

This project will enhance flood protection and create improved fish habitats around the outlet and is funded in partnership with Mission Creek Restoration Initiative (MCRI) and the Government of Canada.

“The work that is being done as part of the Mill Creek Flood Protection project is essential to ensure that residents and businesses in Kelowna are protected from future floods. This next phase of work at Mission Creek will not only support flood mitigation efforts for the City, but also protect fish habitats. I’m proud to celebrate the progress that’s been made and look forward to the work to come that will help keep our communities safe,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities.

Riffles mimic natural creek bed formations that help oxygenate the flowing water, creating ideal conditions for fish to spawn and rest. Additionally, they act as natural flood protection by slowing water flow and providing a catchment area during high water events.

“We are happy to partner with the Government of Canada and the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative on this important project that protects our community and environment,” said Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas. “The goal of all City flood mitigation projects is to slow the water down and reduce the energy that damages the environment, property and impacts water quality in Okanagan Lake.”

This project, partially funded through a $22-million grant from the Government of Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaption Fund, aligns with the larger 2024 Mill Creek flood protection and habitat restoration plan that emphasizes a commitment to sustainable environmental practices and community safety. The City of Kelowna also welcomes funding commitments from MCRI, along with support from the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO), recognizing the importance of such initiatives that contribute to the well-being of our ecosystem and the safety of the community.

“Mission Creek Regional Park is a hub for activities that supports our strategic priorities and connect people with nature,” said Blair Ireland, RDCO board chair. “I’m thrilled to see progress being made on the Mission Creek Restoration Plan. Mission Creek is an invaluable natural asset and kokanee spawning creek channel and it’s important that we invest in flood and habitat protection, like the installation of riffles, to best serve the park and community.”

The City of Kelowna invites residents to visit to learn more about the Mission Creek Restoration Plan and the positive impacts these riffles will have on the local environment. The City remains dedicated to enhancing natural landscapes, protecting local wildlife, and ensuring the safety of residents through thoughtful and effective flood management.

“Mission Creek provides critical environmental, recreational, social and cultural values to the Okanagan which have been severely impacted by land development activities within the watershed over time,” said Steve Matthews, project coordinator MCRI. “This project represents an important step for MCRI toward restoring those lost values and is guided by the recently released Lower Mission Creek Habitat Conservation and Restoration Plan.”  

More information about potential detours within Mission Creek Regional Park and community impacts will be shared closer to the project start date this summer. For greenway impacts and more information about the park, visit For road impacts, visit