Westham Island Canoe Pass Tidal Marsh Project

August 12, 2015

About the project

The Westham Island Canoe Pass Tidal Marsh Project is a project proposed by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Habitat Enhancement Program. The project would be located in Canoe Pass, near the south side of Westham Island, in Delta (see photos below).

The project would expand an existing marsh area by converting an adjacent unvegetated, low-value intertidal sandflat and mudflat into approximately four hectares of high-quality marsh habitat. The site was selected based on its potential to benefit a broad range of fish and wildlife species, and to increase the overall ecological function of the area. Tidal marshes are essential rearing areas for juvenile salmon, which helps sustain Pacific salmon stocks.

The port authority engaged professional consultants to determine if this project, if built, would impact current farming-related infrastructure in the area. As the project site is more than 400 metres away from the nearest drainage feature, or flood box, it was determined river flows will not be altered to any significant extent, so impacts are not anticipated.

The port authority has consulted with the public and stakeholders regarding options for features related to the proposed project. This consultation has included meetings and site visits with the City of Delta, the Delta Farmers Institute and local residents.

The port authority intends to work with TransLink to identify key operational considerations and potential contingency plans for the Westham Island Bridge, should construction proceed, and will continue to review opportunities to implement additional safeguards prior to the start of any proposed work.

Current state at low tide, looking east.
Rendering of proposed new habitat at low tide.

Project status

Permitting and approvals phase

A land tenure application, originally submitted by the port authority in 2014, is under review by the Province of British Columbia. If approved, the Province would issue a lease for the potential project site.

At this time, the port authority is advancing this proposed project to the land tenure application stage only. If successful in securing land tenure and if the decision is made to advance to construction, the port authority is committed to continued consultation with key stakeholders on design and other project details. The port authority is also consulting Aboriginal groups through a separate process.

Timeline

Illustration

Resources

July 2019 – Project Overview – Westham Island Canoe Pass Tidal Marsh Project
March 2015 – Flood Box Outfall Maintenance – Anticipated Permitting Requirements Memo
March 2015 – Project Impacts Memo
March 2014 – Ecological Conditions Report: Proposed Westham Island Tidal Marsh Project [PDF]
June 2014 – Input Consideration Memo: Westham Island Canoe Pass Tidal Marsh Project [PDF]
April 2014 – Engagement Summary Memo: Westham Island Canoe Pass Tidal Marsh Project [PDF]
February 2014 – Discussion Paper: Westham Island Canoe  Pass Tidal Marsh Project [PDF]
Winter 2014 – Westham Standwatch Bird Surveys [PDF]
Summer 2014 – Westham Waterbird Surveys [PDF]
2013 to 2014 – Westham Board and Standwatch Waterbird Surveys [PDF]