Sterling Shipyard Remediation and Infill Project

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The Sterling Shipyard Remediation and Infill Project, located at 2089-2095 Commissioner Street, Vancouver, is a remediation and infilling project on the south shore of Burrard Inlet. Subsurface soil in the intertidal area is contaminated due to historic industrial activity and requires excavation to remediate the site. Once the contaminated soil is removed, the intertidal area will be backfilled with clean engineered fill to create 0.5 hectares of new port industrial land to help continued economic growth amidst an industrial land shortage in the region. The port authority is overseeing this project and, once completed, the new industrial land would be leased to a port tenant or operator.

Site Preparation 

  • Removal of trees and other vegetation on the southern portion of the site 
  • Installation of erosion and sediment control measures 
  • Installation of silt curtain around the in-water work area 
  • Demolition of existing infrastructure 
  • Installation of temporary shoring around the east, west and south side of the Project area 

Sediment Remediation 

  • Excavation and dredging of approximately 18,000 cubic metres of contaminated substrate from the intertidal and subtidal area of the site, to a maximum depth of 5 metres below grade 

Rock Berm Installation 

  • Installation of rock berm revetment approximately 100 metres in length with an elevation of approximately 8 metres 

Backfilling and Grading 

  • Placement of approximately 41,000 cubic metres of clean engineered fill in both the intertidal and upland area to elevate the grade to approximately 6 metres 
  • Grading and compaction of the newly placed engineered fill 

Onsite Habitat Offsetting 

  • Creation of two subtidal reefs 
  • Installation of seeded kelp ropes on top of the reefs 
  • Installation of marine riparian vegetation 
  • Placement of textured ECOncrete blocks at the foot of the revetment 

Habitat offsetting:
The project involves the loss of an existing intertidal area. Onsite and offsite habitat will be created to offset effects to fish habitat, in alignment with a Fisheries Act authorization issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). 

Two rock reefs will be installed in the subtidal area, lined with seeded kelp ropes. The reefs will provide structural habitat and spaces for fish refuge and spawning, for algae and invertebrates to thrive, and for seaweed/kelp to grow, providing additional habitat for fish, and mobile and encrusting invertebrates. 

A marine riparian vegetation zone will also be constructed behind the top edge of the rock berm revetment. The vegetation zone will include numerous species of grasses, sedges, shrubs and trees. 

A proposal for the creation of additional offsite habitat is currently under review by the port authority 


Due to the location of the project site within port lands, construction noise and air quality effects on adjacent communities and businesses would be expected to be limited. Mitigation measures, including an anti-idling policy, a requirement to ensure all equipment is in good working condition, and dust suppression techniques, will be in place for the construction contractor. 

Most work is expected to take place during the daytime, though some work is tidal dependent and may need to be done at night 

Construction is expected to begin in August 2024 and is anticipated to take about 10 months. Most works would be done via barge, with the appropriate monitoring plans in place. Deliveries of fill material are anticipated to be done by truck. At this time there are no plans for future development at the site. Any future proposals for development of the site would go through the PER process. 

Hours of work:
Most work is expected to take place during the daytime standard construction hours, Monday to Saturday, 7am – 8pm, though some work is tidal dependent and may need to be done at night. Additional approvals will be sought and community notification would be required prior to work outside of standard construction hours commencing. 

Technical permit documents 

  • All the technical documents and the Project and Environmental Review permit can be found here.