Since the submission of the environmental impact statement to federal authorities in March 2015, we have conducted additional studies based on feedback and engagement with Indigenous groups, local communities, environmental groups, and government agencies. As an example of the breadth of this ongoing work, we submitted over 3,000 pages of additional information to the independent federal review panel, which was used during the environmental assessment. Continuing on the work that was initiated in 2011, the field study team remains active, conducting a variety of field study programs at Roberts Bank on an ongoing basis. This work includes study on a variety of key species such as juvenile salmon, eulachon, Dungeness crab, biofilm, great blue heron, barn owls, and diving birds. The findings from these studies, along with ongoing consultation and collaboration with Indigenous groups, regulators and other stakeholders, are being used to refine our mitigation measures and inform our environmental management plans and follow-up program elements. This collaborative approach has been invaluable for ensuring that Indigenous knowledge and input from regulators is integrated.
We are also working with Indigenous groups and regulators to develop our offsetting plan as part of the Fisheries Act Authorization application that will be submitted to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. In response to feedback from Indigenous groups, we have committed to creating 86 hectares of offsetting habitat, which is nearly three times the amount initially proposed in our environmental impact statement. The final offsetting plan will focus on key species and habitat types as indicated by Indigenous groups, including Chinook and sockeye salmon, eulachon, Dungeness crab, white sturgeon, southern resident killer whales, eelgrass, and intertidal marsh.
We look forward to continuing to work with Indigenous groups, regulators, and other stakeholders to refine our proposed mitigation measures, offsetting, and follow-up programs to ensure the ongoing productivity at Roberts Bank for generations to come.
Learn more about the ongoing work at Roberts Bank: