In November 2021, Canada faced one of its most devastating natural disasters when flooding affected areas across British Columbia (B.C.). The flooding left some 18,000 people stranded in their homes. Many of those who could leave their homes struggled to find food among bare grocery store shelves.
The Canadian government and civic organisations have since pledged to take preemptive measures to prevent such devastating floods from happening again. Among the many flood damage prevention and restoration measures available, tree planting is one of the most effective.
With this in mind, in December 2021 AnswerConnect partnered with One Tree Planted, a non-profit dedicated to planting trees across B.C. As one of many defensive measures the country is taking to counteract the devastating impacts of climate change, tree planting will play a key role in mitigating future flooding.
So, what are flood damage restoration projects and how does tree planting help? Find out more below:
What are flood damage restoration projects?
Flood restoration projects focus on three key areas:
- Helping remove water caused by flooding
- Protecting natural wildlife, and
- Helping prevent additional damage caused by future flooding.
So how does tree planting do all three?
Trees help to remove water
The heavy rainfall of the B.C. floods forced over 20,000 people to flee their homes. The flooding was, in part, made possible by the high proportion of surface area concrete. Concrete doesn’t absorb water and forces water to gather in storm drains, which can quickly become flooded.
Trees help to control how much and how fast water is absorbed into the ground. They help remove water by acting like sponges in wet areas, to absorb rain and mitigate flooding.
Trees provide homes to wild animals
According to Global News, over 640,000 animals died in less than a month due to floodwaters in British Columbia. Forests provide habitat for abundant wildlife and planting trees can help preserve animals’ homes.
Of all the Canadian provinces and territories, B.C. has the richest diversity of plants and animals. B.C. is home to incredible and iconic biodiversity like the Canada Lynx, Snowy Owl, Moose and more. By planting trees, B.C. can protect the various fragile ecosystems and ensure the region’s abundant wildlife has a home.
Trees prevent damage caused by future flooding
Rehabilitating B.C. forests can help prevent future flooding by not only absorbing water but by helping fight against other natural disasters. Many areas of D.C. forests have already been ravaged by beetle infestations and forest fires.
The severity of the flooding in November 2021 was exponentially worse due to previous forest fires. B.C. faced many natural disasters in 2021, including a series of forest fires during the brutal heatwaves of June/July. As climate change makes annual countrywide forest fires ever more likely, tree planting will only become more important in the future.
Learn more about how AnswerConnect is giving back to our Planet, through other tree planting initiatives here.
Images courtesy of One Tree Planted.