About the project
The Maplewood Marine Restoration Project is located on the north shore of Burrard Inlet, approximately two kilometres east of the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge, in a marine site that was identified as a restoration priority by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. The site lies within a large marine tidal area immediately south of a wildlife conservation area. The upland Maplewood Flats Conservation Area is managed and administered by Environment Canada and operated by the Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia.
Location of the Maplewood Marine Restoration Project
The project site is located within a deep waterlot basin – up to nine metres deep – that was dredged in the 1940s to support a gravel extraction business and was later used as a log storage area. The project is anticipated to enhance approximately five hectares of low-diversity marine habitat into higher-diversity marine habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Habitat Enhancement Program is delivering the project, which focuses on creating, restoring and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat to help maintain a balance between a healthy environment and future infrastructure development that may be required for port operations. A portion of the marine habitat created at the project site will be used to fulfil the fisheries habitat offsetting requirements for the Centerm Expansion Project, as determined by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Marine works construction for the Maplewood Marine Restoration Project wrapped up in spring 2020. During construction, nearly 230,000 cubic metres of dredged Fraser River sand was beneficially reused to restore and raise the Maplewood basin floor, which will support a variety of shellfish and crab and allow marine plants like eelgrass to establish. Eelgrass provides important refuge and nursery habitat for juvenile fish. Over 13,000 tonnes of rock was also placed to create a rock reef and other features which will support various kelp species and contribute to an increase in the diversity of fish and wildlife in the basin.
The final activity of the project, transplanting eelgrass from donor sites into the Maplewood basin, started in spring 2021. This work involves transplanting about 125,000 eelgrass shoots to create a 1.5-hectare eelgrass bed, which will be the largest eelgrass transplant ever performed in Burrard Inlet.
As part of a November 2020 pilot project, we transplanted approximately 5% of the total eelgrass bed in the Maplewood basin. The port authority continues to work with Indigenous groups on the planning and implementation of this transplanting work, which will increase the overall understanding of eelgrass transplanting for this project as well as future restoration and offsetting opportunities. Watch a short video on this pilot project.
We extend our thanks to Tsleil-Waututh Nation for their collaboration on this project, to Musqueam and Squamish Nations for their involvement, and to local residents, the staff at Environment Canada’s Pacific Environmental Science Centre, members of the Wild Bird Trust, and the District of North Vancouver for their understanding and patience during construction, and for their participation in the design, permitting and construction of this project.
Our approach to public and stakeholder engagement is based on two-way communication and open dialogue, working together to ensure the community, the environment and the economy are all considered during project planning.
The location of this habitat enhancement project was chosen based on input from stakeholders and Indigenous groups.
During engagement, we asked you to provide feedback on the Project team’s proposed notification methods for construction and project updates, and a proposed ecological or cultural feature. We held an open house on October 2, 2018.
- View the discussion guide
- November 2018 – Consideration report – Maplewood Marine Restoration Project [PDF]
- November 2018 – Consultation summary report – Maplewood Marine Restoration Project [PDF]