McDonald Tidal Marsh Project

August 12, 2015

Project status

Permitting and approvals phase

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is currently working to advance the necessary permits and approvals required for the proposed project.

Public and stakeholder engagement for the proposed project was held between May and June 2014. We will continue to consult with regulators, First Nations, and stakeholders, as appropriate. Please note that the proposed project may change based on further consultation and technical input.

About the project

The proposed McDonald Tidal Marsh Project is situated on Sea Island, north of Vancouver International Airport and upstream of the mouth of McDonald Slough along the Fraser River (North Arm). The proposed project would involve the conversion of approximately 29,000 m2 (2.9 ha) of historically impacted upland and subtidal area into high quality fish and wildlife habitat through the excavation of upland areas and the establishment of intertidal brackish marsh. Riparian habitat would also be enhanced and a drainage system consisting of two tidal channels would be installed throughout the marsh.

Historical aerial photographs indicate that the site was previously tidal marsh, until the 1940s and 1950s when it was filled.  More recently, it was used as an aggregate off-loading area in the 1990s, with a small area of fill removed to facilitate a barge loading / off-loading ramp. The site is currently characterized as a grassland habitat with some invasive plant species and sparse, scattered shrubs and trees. The shoreline is armored with riprap and provided limited foreshore habitat values.

We have selected this site based on the potential of habitat enhancement to benefit a broad range of fish and wildlife species and ecological functions.

Cross-section of a constructed tidal marsh

Example Cross-Section of a Constructed Tidal Marsh

Timeline

McDonald Timeline

 

Project location

McDonald Tidal Marsh Project
Current state at low tide
mcdonald
Proposed new habitat at low tide

Resources

May 2014 – Ecological Conditions Report: McDonald Tidal Marsh Project [PDF]  
Spring 2014 – Discussion Paper: McDonald and Point Grey Tidal Marsh Projects [PDF]  
July 2014 – Engagement Summary Report: McDonald and Point Grey Tidal Marsh Projects [PDF]  
August 2014 – Input Consideration Memo: McDonald and Point Grey Tidal Marsh Projects [PDF]