Presentation Abstract

Boundary Bay is a critical section of transboundary Salish Sea habitat, recognized locally, nationally and internationally. The intertidal salt marshes, mudflats and open water marine habitats of Boundary Bay comprise Canada’s top rated, globally significant, Important Bird Area (IBA Canada 2017), have recently been named a “Wetland of International Importance” as part of the Fraser River Delta Ramsar site (Ramsar 2012) and are “protected” through BC’s Wildlife Management Area designation (MFLNRO 1995). Indigenous peoples (including Semiahmoo First Nation) traditionally harvested the abundant fish and shellfish resources for their livelihood. Commercial oyster operations in B.C. began in Boundary Bay in 1904 and continued until the 1960s. Boundary Bay oysters accounted for 50% of the total provincial oyster production (1940 - 1963), until water contamination forced the closure of commercial, recreational and First Nations harvest (Delta Heritage Advisory Commission 2017). Multiple jurisdictions across the international watersheds of Boundary Bay make it a complicated region to affect change. Many individual organizations are collecting data and conducting stewardship projects; however, over the past few years, collaborative efforts to improve habitat and water quality have decreased (on the Canadian side). One significant factor was the dissolving of the Shared Waters Alliance, a transboundary working group (comprised of over 20 different government and non-government organizations) which focused efforts on improving water quality in Boundary Bay in order to re-open shellfish harvest (active from 1999 to 2011). In recent months, representatives from two stewardship groups: A Rocha Canada and Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society have been engaging conversation with Semiahmoo First Nation, and all levels of government (Canadian and American) to re-vitalize a collaborative approach. Still in the early stages of revival of the Shared Water Alliance, we are updating our goals and establishing actions to move forward. We hope that by re-engaging, we can streamline efficiencies in monitoring, and better facilitate transparent communication amongst stakeholders to deliver on action based objectives to achieve measurable improvements in water quality. References: Delta Heritage Advisory Commission, 2017. Historic Sites in Delta. http://www.delta.ca/docs/default-source/herritage-properties/heritage-passport-volume-1.pdf?sfvrsn=2, Accessed Dec 2017. IBA Canada 2017. Boundary Bay – Roberts Bank – Sturgeon Bank (Fraser River Estuary) Delta, Richmond, Surrey, White Rock, British Columbia. Site Summary. https://www.ibacanada.ca/site.jsp?siteID=BC017, Accessed Sep 2017. Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations [MFLNRO] 1995. Boundary Bay Wildlife Management Area. http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/habitat/conservation-lands/wma/boundary_bay/, Accessed Sep 2017. Ramsar 2012. Canada vastly extends Vancouver wetlands. http://www.ramsar.org/news/canada-vastly-extends-vancouver-wetlands, Accessed Sep 2017.

Session Title

Restoring Shellfish Harvesting Beaches in the Transboundary Salish Sea

Keywords

Shared waters, Shellfish, Boundary Bay

Conference Track

SSE1: Habitat Restoration and Protection

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE1-106

Start Date

5-4-2018 10:15 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 10:30 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 10:15 AM Apr 5th, 10:30 AM

Shared Waters: restoring shellfish harvest in the trans-boundary watershed of Boundary Bay

Boundary Bay is a critical section of transboundary Salish Sea habitat, recognized locally, nationally and internationally. The intertidal salt marshes, mudflats and open water marine habitats of Boundary Bay comprise Canada’s top rated, globally significant, Important Bird Area (IBA Canada 2017), have recently been named a “Wetland of International Importance” as part of the Fraser River Delta Ramsar site (Ramsar 2012) and are “protected” through BC’s Wildlife Management Area designation (MFLNRO 1995). Indigenous peoples (including Semiahmoo First Nation) traditionally harvested the abundant fish and shellfish resources for their livelihood. Commercial oyster operations in B.C. began in Boundary Bay in 1904 and continued until the 1960s. Boundary Bay oysters accounted for 50% of the total provincial oyster production (1940 - 1963), until water contamination forced the closure of commercial, recreational and First Nations harvest (Delta Heritage Advisory Commission 2017). Multiple jurisdictions across the international watersheds of Boundary Bay make it a complicated region to affect change. Many individual organizations are collecting data and conducting stewardship projects; however, over the past few years, collaborative efforts to improve habitat and water quality have decreased (on the Canadian side). One significant factor was the dissolving of the Shared Waters Alliance, a transboundary working group (comprised of over 20 different government and non-government organizations) which focused efforts on improving water quality in Boundary Bay in order to re-open shellfish harvest (active from 1999 to 2011). In recent months, representatives from two stewardship groups: A Rocha Canada and Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society have been engaging conversation with Semiahmoo First Nation, and all levels of government (Canadian and American) to re-vitalize a collaborative approach. Still in the early stages of revival of the Shared Water Alliance, we are updating our goals and establishing actions to move forward. We hope that by re-engaging, we can streamline efficiencies in monitoring, and better facilitate transparent communication amongst stakeholders to deliver on action based objectives to achieve measurable improvements in water quality. References: Delta Heritage Advisory Commission, 2017. Historic Sites in Delta. http://www.delta.ca/docs/default-source/herritage-properties/heritage-passport-volume-1.pdf?sfvrsn=2, Accessed Dec 2017. IBA Canada 2017. Boundary Bay – Roberts Bank – Sturgeon Bank (Fraser River Estuary) Delta, Richmond, Surrey, White Rock, British Columbia. Site Summary. https://www.ibacanada.ca/site.jsp?siteID=BC017, Accessed Sep 2017. Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations [MFLNRO] 1995. Boundary Bay Wildlife Management Area. http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/habitat/conservation-lands/wma/boundary_bay/, Accessed Sep 2017. Ramsar 2012. Canada vastly extends Vancouver wetlands. http://www.ramsar.org/news/canada-vastly-extends-vancouver-wetlands, Accessed Sep 2017.