The Timberland Basin Habitat Project is located adjacent to Tannery Road Park in Surrey, along the bank of the Fraser River. Prior to habitat enhancement works, the site was a log pond providing low habitat values for fish and wildlife. The site was converted into marsh, mudflat and riparian habitat in the late 1980s.
Following completion of construction, the gross area of the site was approximately three hectares. While several parcels from the Timberland Basin Habitat were extracted for habitat compensation between the 1990s and 2000s, the remaining habitat area administered by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority covers a gross area of approximately 0.28 hectares of intertidal mudflat and 0.11 hectares of intertidal freshwater marsh.
About the project
The Timberland Basin Habitat was built behind an existing training wall by infilling the former log pond with dredged sandy silt material from the adjacent Timberland Basin channel. Rip rap was placed around the perimeter of the site to retain the material at the appropriate height for establishment of an intertidal marsh bench. Trial planting of the site, predominantly with Lyngbye’s sedge, was undertaken in the early 1990s. Although heavy grazing pressure was experienced due to geese, the site naturally transitioned into low marsh habitat through a combination of transplanting and natural colonization of vegetation.
Establishment of a productive intertidal brackish marsh along this stretch of shoreline has provided food and shelter for a wide range of wildlife. Wildlife that utilize this site include invertebrates, fish (over 20 species of anadromous and freshwater fish), waterbirds including ducks, Canada geese and gulls, shorebirds, wading birds, and other wildlife such as raccoons and beavers. Most notably, at high tide this brackish marsh provides important feeding and cover habitat for juvenile coho, Chinook and chum salmon and foraging and roosting habitat for waterbirds during high and low tides.
This site has been providing productive fish and wildlife habitat on the north arm of the Fraser River for over 30 years. The port authority conducts regular monitoring to ensure the habitat continues to meet its biophysical objectives.