Upper Stoney Creek’s Saltfleet wetlands also good for pocketbook, study finds

News Jun 09, 2020 by Richard Leitner Stoney Creek News

Spending $15 million to create four wetlands at upper Stoney Creek’s fledgling Saltfleet Conservation Area to reduce flash flooding below the escarpment will more than pay for itself, an economic analysis concludes.

Prepared for Ontario’s Greenbelt Foundation, the study by Alberta-based consultants Anielski Management Inc. estimates the wetlands will bring between $24 million and $44 million in flood mitigation, recreation and biodiversity benefits.

The swamps will also help lessen climate change by storing carbon and filter water nutrients as well as be a cheaper way to control flooding than traditional “grey infrastructure,” pegged at $28.5 million, the study finds.

Scott Peck, deputy chief administrative officer for the Hamilton Conservation Authority, said his agency was invited to submit the “flagship project” for analysis because the 109-hectare park is in the Greenbelt.

The Saltfleet Conservation Area is a string of properties along the Dofasco Trail and the first wetland conversion is planned on remnant farm fields at the main hub on First Road East.

“We knew that it’s a good environmental project, both from a natural hazard and a natural heritage perspective. We knew it had good recreational components,” Peck told authority directors at their June 4 online meeting.

“But what we didn’t really have necessarily, and it’s I’ll say fairly typical of environmental projects, is, ‘What’s the cost-benefit analysis?”

Peck said the analysis covers a 50-year timeline and estimates the project’s benefits over 50 years at current flooding levels and if they should rise by two per cent due to climate change.

That results in a conservative estimate of a $24-million benefit under present conditions and $44.2 million with higher flooding along the lower stretches of Stoney and Battlefield creeks.

“Even by conservative estimates, this proposed green infrastructure project would pay for itself and provide additional value beyond what grey infrastructure would,” Peck said.

“It also provides those intangible benefits of people’s health and enjoyment, and reducing blood pressure, and basically the overall happiness that comes with going for a walk in the woods or a paddle down a watercourse.”

Stoney Creek Coun. Brad Clark said he’s hopeful the study will have another benefit — getting funding for the wetlands.

“I was very pleased to see the report and how comprehensive it was,” he said. “It will be very helpful in our advocacy with the senior levels of government.”

 

Upper Stoney Creek’s Saltfleet wetlands also good for pocketbook, study finds

$15M project projected to bring up to $44M in benefits

News Jun 09, 2020 by Richard Leitner Stoney Creek News

Spending $15 million to create four wetlands at upper Stoney Creek’s fledgling Saltfleet Conservation Area to reduce flash flooding below the escarpment will more than pay for itself, an economic analysis concludes.

Prepared for Ontario’s Greenbelt Foundation, the study by Alberta-based consultants Anielski Management Inc. estimates the wetlands will bring between $24 million and $44 million in flood mitigation, recreation and biodiversity benefits.

The swamps will also help lessen climate change by storing carbon and filter water nutrients as well as be a cheaper way to control flooding than traditional “grey infrastructure,” pegged at $28.5 million, the study finds.

Scott Peck, deputy chief administrative officer for the Hamilton Conservation Authority, said his agency was invited to submit the “flagship project” for analysis because the 109-hectare park is in the Greenbelt.

Related Content

The Saltfleet Conservation Area is a string of properties along the Dofasco Trail and the first wetland conversion is planned on remnant farm fields at the main hub on First Road East.

“We knew that it’s a good environmental project, both from a natural hazard and a natural heritage perspective. We knew it had good recreational components,” Peck told authority directors at their June 4 online meeting.

“But what we didn’t really have necessarily, and it’s I’ll say fairly typical of environmental projects, is, ‘What’s the cost-benefit analysis?”

Peck said the analysis covers a 50-year timeline and estimates the project’s benefits over 50 years at current flooding levels and if they should rise by two per cent due to climate change.

That results in a conservative estimate of a $24-million benefit under present conditions and $44.2 million with higher flooding along the lower stretches of Stoney and Battlefield creeks.

“Even by conservative estimates, this proposed green infrastructure project would pay for itself and provide additional value beyond what grey infrastructure would,” Peck said.

“It also provides those intangible benefits of people’s health and enjoyment, and reducing blood pressure, and basically the overall happiness that comes with going for a walk in the woods or a paddle down a watercourse.”

Stoney Creek Coun. Brad Clark said he’s hopeful the study will have another benefit — getting funding for the wetlands.

“I was very pleased to see the report and how comprehensive it was,” he said. “It will be very helpful in our advocacy with the senior levels of government.”

 

Upper Stoney Creek’s Saltfleet wetlands also good for pocketbook, study finds

$15M project projected to bring up to $44M in benefits

News Jun 09, 2020 by Richard Leitner Stoney Creek News

Spending $15 million to create four wetlands at upper Stoney Creek’s fledgling Saltfleet Conservation Area to reduce flash flooding below the escarpment will more than pay for itself, an economic analysis concludes.

Prepared for Ontario’s Greenbelt Foundation, the study by Alberta-based consultants Anielski Management Inc. estimates the wetlands will bring between $24 million and $44 million in flood mitigation, recreation and biodiversity benefits.

The swamps will also help lessen climate change by storing carbon and filter water nutrients as well as be a cheaper way to control flooding than traditional “grey infrastructure,” pegged at $28.5 million, the study finds.

Scott Peck, deputy chief administrative officer for the Hamilton Conservation Authority, said his agency was invited to submit the “flagship project” for analysis because the 109-hectare park is in the Greenbelt.

Related Content

The Saltfleet Conservation Area is a string of properties along the Dofasco Trail and the first wetland conversion is planned on remnant farm fields at the main hub on First Road East.

“We knew that it’s a good environmental project, both from a natural hazard and a natural heritage perspective. We knew it had good recreational components,” Peck told authority directors at their June 4 online meeting.

“But what we didn’t really have necessarily, and it’s I’ll say fairly typical of environmental projects, is, ‘What’s the cost-benefit analysis?”

Peck said the analysis covers a 50-year timeline and estimates the project’s benefits over 50 years at current flooding levels and if they should rise by two per cent due to climate change.

That results in a conservative estimate of a $24-million benefit under present conditions and $44.2 million with higher flooding along the lower stretches of Stoney and Battlefield creeks.

“Even by conservative estimates, this proposed green infrastructure project would pay for itself and provide additional value beyond what grey infrastructure would,” Peck said.

“It also provides those intangible benefits of people’s health and enjoyment, and reducing blood pressure, and basically the overall happiness that comes with going for a walk in the woods or a paddle down a watercourse.”

Stoney Creek Coun. Brad Clark said he’s hopeful the study will have another benefit — getting funding for the wetlands.

“I was very pleased to see the report and how comprehensive it was,” he said. “It will be very helpful in our advocacy with the senior levels of government.”