Port Metro Vancouver officially launched its Boundary Bay Salt Marsh Restoration Project on September 3 as part of its Habitat Banking Program. The work involves removing logs that the Port claims will restore degraded habitat that may be impairing fish productivity in the Bay.
The project and its timing have caused concern from environmental groups such as Citizens Against Port Expansion (CAPE) - a community group opposing port expansion in Delta – who say: “These areas are on the Boundary Bay foreshore, neither of which needs any improvement. The Port plans to remove logs and other debris from the tidal marshes and foreshore. In fact most of the marsh is clear already – Ducks Unlimited carried out a major log clearing project some years ago.
What remains is valuable habitat in that it provides perching posts for raptors as well as refugia for small mammals, which breed there and then become a food source in the winter for raptors and other wildlife such as the Snowy Owls. Any alteration of the marsh and foreshore would be a detriment to birds and other wildlife – definitely not an improvement.”
Citizens Against Port Expansion organized a gathering Tuesday Sept 3 at 9 am at the foot of 64th on Boundary Bay East Ladner to protest the habitat project. Details in this video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZZDDlLCxxE;hd= 1
The group maintains that Deltaport expansions on Roberts Bank B.C. - as part of the Canadian and B.C. Governments' Gateway projects in the Fraser River estuary - will pave over farmland, lower the quality of life for thousands of Lower Mainland residents, and destroy globally-significant wildlife habitats.
An online petition is being circulated to oppose the Port's expansion proposal.
The Port defends its Habitat Banking program by saying it “focuses on creating and improving fish and wildlife habitat in advance of port development projects, to ensure potential impacts to existing habitat can be off set.”