Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Bringing Communities Together to Embark on Major Estuarine Restoration

Description

Industrial activity has significantly altered the form and function of the Seymour River estuary. Since the early 1900s, the lower river has been re-aligned, channelized, straightened, bank-armoured, and dredged. In the upper watershed, historical logging practices, urbanization and reservoir impoundment reduced inputs of woody debris, nutrients and sediment to the estuary. Native plant communities in the riparian and intertidal zones have been diminished, and non-migratory Canada geese have residualized in the estuary. As a result, the quantity and quality of functional estuarine habitat has been drastically reduced for resident and anadromous salmonids and native wildlife species.

A collaboration of organizations and individuals, led by the British Columbia Institute of Technology: Rivers Institute, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Seymour Salmonid Society, has worked since 2013 to rehabilitate aquatic and terrestrial habitat and restore natural estuarine processes, especially carbon storage and brackish water habitat. Primary project activities included forming an interdisciplinary project team, identifying land ownership, conducting sediment contaminant surveys, removing creosote-soaked structures, re-contouring the estuary topography, non-herbicidal removal of invasive plant species, re-vegetation of riparian and intertidal zones, installing a raptor nesting platform, and anchoring 150 large woody debris structures in the intertidal zone. Scheduled 2016 projects include naturalizing the west bank, re-creating a tidally-influenced salt water wetland, stabilizing an eroding near-vertical north bank of the back bay, and transplanting eelgrass and kelp.

Numerous governments and NGOs contributed to this project with financial aid and in-kind support. The main contributors included the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Metro Vancouver, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Pacific Salmon Foundation and the District of North Vancouver. The public was engaged through community planting events, on-site signage and press releases. Students in the BCIT Ecological Restoration undergraduate program were involved throughout the project (and will continue post-construction monitoring) to apply their classroom-based learning while gaining valuable experience.

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Seymour River Estuary Habitat Restoration, North Vancouver, B.C.

2016SSEC

Industrial activity has significantly altered the form and function of the Seymour River estuary. Since the early 1900s, the lower river has been re-aligned, channelized, straightened, bank-armoured, and dredged. In the upper watershed, historical logging practices, urbanization and reservoir impoundment reduced inputs of woody debris, nutrients and sediment to the estuary. Native plant communities in the riparian and intertidal zones have been diminished, and non-migratory Canada geese have residualized in the estuary. As a result, the quantity and quality of functional estuarine habitat has been drastically reduced for resident and anadromous salmonids and native wildlife species.

A collaboration of organizations and individuals, led by the British Columbia Institute of Technology: Rivers Institute, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Seymour Salmonid Society, has worked since 2013 to rehabilitate aquatic and terrestrial habitat and restore natural estuarine processes, especially carbon storage and brackish water habitat. Primary project activities included forming an interdisciplinary project team, identifying land ownership, conducting sediment contaminant surveys, removing creosote-soaked structures, re-contouring the estuary topography, non-herbicidal removal of invasive plant species, re-vegetation of riparian and intertidal zones, installing a raptor nesting platform, and anchoring 150 large woody debris structures in the intertidal zone. Scheduled 2016 projects include naturalizing the west bank, re-creating a tidally-influenced salt water wetland, stabilizing an eroding near-vertical north bank of the back bay, and transplanting eelgrass and kelp.

Numerous governments and NGOs contributed to this project with financial aid and in-kind support. The main contributors included the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Metro Vancouver, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Pacific Salmon Foundation and the District of North Vancouver. The public was engaged through community planting events, on-site signage and press releases. Students in the BCIT Ecological Restoration undergraduate program were involved throughout the project (and will continue post-construction monitoring) to apply their classroom-based learning while gaining valuable experience.