Presentation Abstract

Log booming and wood processing operations in BC’s Esquimalt Harbour since the 1800s have resulted in the accumulation of wood waste deposits throughout the subtidal zone. Wood waste can adversely affect sediment quality and benthic and infaunal communities, prompting the Department of National Defence to prioritize the assessment of effects of wood waste on the ecological health of the nearshore marine environment in Esquimalt Harbour. In alignment with the overall Esquimalt Harbour Remediation Project, The Esquimalt Harbour Wood Waste Assessment and Characterization Project was initiated in 2016 and continues into 2018, with Hemmera supporting the assessment, determination of impacts and proposed remediation. To determine the spatial distribution, volume, and composition of wood waste and habitat conditions in Esquimalt Harbour, Hemmera reviewed historical wood processing activities and their duration; information on contaminants and previous assessments; and completed an in-depth biophysical site characterization including SCUBA visual assessments and wood waste stratification through both hand and sonic drill cores. Sediment chemistry analysis (e.g., total organic composition, pore water sulphides, ammonia) was used to assess the effect of wood waste on sediment quality and define levels of impact. To determine impacts to infauna, laboratory analysis of sediment grab samples across a continuum of wood waste impacted sediments was performed and a community analysis conducted. This presentation will showcase results from the Project’s spatial characterization of wood waste and impact assessment investigating the effects of wood waste on sediment quality and benthic and infauna communities. In addition, the proposed pilot remediation project will be discussed, including novel restoration options and techniques. Initial results, including anoxic sediment quality, reduced benthic organism populations and the presence of white bacterial mats at known booming and processing operation locations indicate an effect of wood waste on sediment quality and the benthic community.

Session Title

The Assessment and Management of Wood Waste in the Aquatic Environment

Keywords

Wood waste, Assessment, Benthic impacts, Remediation

Conference Track

SSE8: Policy, Management, and Regulations

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE8-596

Start Date

6-4-2018 2:45 PM

End Date

6-4-2018 3:00 PM

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 6th, 2:45 PM Apr 6th, 3:00 PM

Wood waste assessment, characterization, and remediation in Esquimalt Harbour

Log booming and wood processing operations in BC’s Esquimalt Harbour since the 1800s have resulted in the accumulation of wood waste deposits throughout the subtidal zone. Wood waste can adversely affect sediment quality and benthic and infaunal communities, prompting the Department of National Defence to prioritize the assessment of effects of wood waste on the ecological health of the nearshore marine environment in Esquimalt Harbour. In alignment with the overall Esquimalt Harbour Remediation Project, The Esquimalt Harbour Wood Waste Assessment and Characterization Project was initiated in 2016 and continues into 2018, with Hemmera supporting the assessment, determination of impacts and proposed remediation. To determine the spatial distribution, volume, and composition of wood waste and habitat conditions in Esquimalt Harbour, Hemmera reviewed historical wood processing activities and their duration; information on contaminants and previous assessments; and completed an in-depth biophysical site characterization including SCUBA visual assessments and wood waste stratification through both hand and sonic drill cores. Sediment chemistry analysis (e.g., total organic composition, pore water sulphides, ammonia) was used to assess the effect of wood waste on sediment quality and define levels of impact. To determine impacts to infauna, laboratory analysis of sediment grab samples across a continuum of wood waste impacted sediments was performed and a community analysis conducted. This presentation will showcase results from the Project’s spatial characterization of wood waste and impact assessment investigating the effects of wood waste on sediment quality and benthic and infauna communities. In addition, the proposed pilot remediation project will be discussed, including novel restoration options and techniques. Initial results, including anoxic sediment quality, reduced benthic organism populations and the presence of white bacterial mats at known booming and processing operation locations indicate an effect of wood waste on sediment quality and the benthic community.