Project partners celebrate the completion of the New Brighton Park Shoreline Habitat Restoration Project
Today the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, and Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations celebrated the completion of the New Brighton Park Shoreline Habitat Restoration Project.
The project, which supports both the port authority’s Habitat Enhancement Program and the City of Vancouver’s 2010 Hastings Park / PNE Master Plan and objectives, enhances fish and wildlife habitat in Burrard Inlet, and increases public access to nature.
In the mid-1900s to the 1970s, the project site was filled to create industrial land. Now, thanks to the completion of the project, the area provides high-value habitat for a broad range of fish, birds, and other wildlife species. In particular, the creation of a tidal wetland provides critical habitat in Burrard Inlet for juvenile salmon that migrate along the shoreline as they head out to sea.
“This project brought industry together with municipal and Aboriginal leaders to act on this significant opportunity to improve coastal wetland habitat on the south shore,” said Cliff Stewart, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s vice-president of infrastructure. “We were excited to see that, even before the project’s completion, juvenile chum and Chinook salmon were observed using the newly created tidal wetland as a stopover on their way through Burrard Inlet”.
As part of the project, crews successfully opened the wetland’s east and west outlets to Burrard Inlet. This is the first time since the mid-1960s that this area has been open to tidal influence. It is anticipated that further schools of juvenile salmon will make use of the new tidal marsh habitat annually each spring.
“The intertidal zone in New Brighton Park was filled in during the rapid growth of Vancouver in the 1960s. This project removed some of this fill and created a tidal wetland that is critical for migrating fish and birds,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe. “We realize how much Vancouver residents cherish healthy ecosystems and biodiversity and the Park Board continues to look for more ways to enhance it.”
Other park features include installations of west coast native plant species including approximately 25,000 salt marsh plugs, 200 native trees, and 4,000 coastal shrubs on the newly constructed wetland. Park users will also enjoy additional new picnic tables, view decks and gravel pathways as a part of the project’s park feature components.
About the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is responsible for the stewardship of the federal port lands in and around Vancouver, British Columbia. It is accountable to the federal minister of transport and operates pursuant to the Canada Marine Act. The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest, and the third largest in North America by tonnes of cargo, facilitating trade between Canada and more than 170 world economies. Located in a naturally beautiful setting on Canada’s west coast, the port authority and port terminals and tenants are responsible for the efficient and reliable movement of goods and passengers, integrating environmental, social and economic sustainability initiatives into all areas of port operations. Enabling the trade of approximately $200 billion in goods, port activities sustain 115,300 jobs, $7 billion in wages, and $11.9 billion in GDP across Canada.
About the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
The Vancouver Park Board’s mission is to provide, preserve, and advocate for parks and recreation services to benefit all people, communities, and the environment.
It has exclusive possession, jurisdiction, and control over more than 230 public parks in Vancouver and a large public recreation system of community centres, pools, rinks, fitness centres, golf courses, street trees, marinas, playing fields, and more.
The elected nature of the Park Board and the strength and focus of its mandate have resulted in urban parks and recreation that today hold an enviable and esteemed position world-wide.
About the Musqueam First Nation
Musqueam First Nation are a traditionally hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking people whose traditional territory encompasses what is now Vancouver and surrounding areas. From time immemorial, they have utilized the lands, waters and seas of their territory. Stewardship for future generations is a central tenant of Musqueam people.
About the Squamish Nation
The area known as Kha-nah-moot (New Brighton Park) is part of the Squamish Nation origin stories. In this location, one day a man and woman appeared from out of the creek waters. The descendants of this man and woman lived there until the arrival of European settlers. The traditional territory of the Squamish people is rich in history and mythology, and the restoration of the salt marsh is a first step in recognizing the importance of the natural habitat to all people.
About Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Tsleil-Waututh Nation is a progressive, vibrant Coast Salish community of approximately 500 members. The Nation is located along the shores of Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver.
Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
Media Relations and Communications Advisor
Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
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