We are also continuing to work collaboratively with industry partners on a number of regional programs and initiatives, such as:
- EcoAction Program: provides financial incentives in the form of discounts on harbor dues to recognize shipping companies that have made investments in their fleet to perform above and beyond industry best practices
- Northwest Port Clean Air Strategy: a first-of-its-kind strategy uniting Pacific Northwest ports on both sides of the border around a shared vision to phase out port-related emissions by 2050
- Member of the World Ports Climate Action Program: a new initiative bringing together port authorities from around the world to work on projects that address the issues of global warming
While these programs are not considered part of our proposed mitigation for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project, they play a vital role in maintaining the health of the local environment and Salish Sea by addressing potential cumulative effects of port and marine shipping activity.
Understanding the effects of marine shipping on whales
Since 2014, the Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program has undertaken numerous collaborative research initiatives to better understand and manage the cumulative effects of shipping activities on whales in our region, in particular the southern resident killer whales. Initiatives include voluntary ship slowdowns in Haro Strait and Boundary Pass and the voluntary lateral displacement for tugs in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Enhancing fish habitat
As part of our approach to environmental stewardship and sustainability, we have been proactively enhancing local habitat for more than 20 years. The Habitat Enhancement Program is a port authority initiative focused on creating, restoring, and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat. It is a proactive measure intended to provide a balance between a healthy environment and future development projects that may be required for port operations.
In addition, our Maplewood Marine Restoration Project was awarded the 2021 Remediation and Restoration Award by the Environmental Managers Association of B.C. This project, completed in 2021 in collaboration and consultation with Tsleil-Waututh Nation, involved the restoration of roughly 4.5 hectares of habitat within the Maplewood basin by creating a tidal flat, an eelgrass bed, and a rock reef.
Rewarding environmental efforts
Each year, we recognize marine carriers and terminal operators for their voluntary efforts to conserve energy and reduce emissions. In 2021, we recognized 19 port customers with Blue Circle Awards for their commitment to reducing the impact of port operations on the environment and on our neighbouring communities.