News & Resources

Enhancing habitats in the Fraser River estuary and across the Lower Mainland

August 19, 2020 9:46 pm

Since 1991, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Habitat Enhancement Program (HEP), has been creating, restoring and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat, including salt water marshes, intertidal marshes and eelgrass beds, to help maintain a balance between a healthy environment and future development that may be required for port operations.

As noted in the independent review panel’s report, the port authority is highly experienced in developing offsets in the Fraser River estuary. We will draw upon this experience and long track-record of success to shape our offsetting program for the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project.

Since 2013, through the Habitat Enhancement Program, we have created or enhanced 13 habitat sites that, combined, would cover an area of more than 13 football fields (10 hectares) and completed feasibility work for over 100 additional hectares of potential habitat to enhance.

An example of habitat restoration that has been beneficial to juvenile salmon is the New Brighton Habitat Shoreline Restoration Project. The port authority and the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, along with Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, worked collaboratively on this project, which restored coastal wetland habitat on the south shore of Burrard Inlet.

New Brighton Park shoreline – before

New Brighton Park shoreline – after









Juvenile fish from the Indian and Seymour rivers have been known to experience high mortality as they migrate through Burrard Inlet. The creation of a tidal wetland at New Brighton Park provides critical habitat for juvenile salmon that migrate along the Burrard Inlet shoreline as they head out to sea. The site was selected based on its potential to benefit a broad range of fish and wildlife species.

Learn more about our work in enhancing habitats in the Fraser River estuary and across the Lower Mainland.

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