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Vancouver Park Board increases city’s biodiversity with salt marsh

April 19 2016

New Brighton Park

The Vancouver Park Board is creating a salt marsh in New Brighton Park to restore fish and wildlife habitat along the shore of Burrard Inlet, and improve access to nature for park visitors.

Intertidal wetland

The Board approved a concept plan for the creation of this unique two-hectare (five-acre) intertidal wetland last night. Coastal wetlands are critical for juvenile salmon as they migrate from rivers and streams, as well as for shorebirds and waterfowl that use them as resting spots.

“The salt marsh is unique in Metro Vancouver and will provide critical habitat for juvenile fish, shorebirds, waterfowl and migrating birds in one of our most beautiful shoreline parks,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.

“This ambitious project stems from the Park Board’s Biodiversity Strategy to create healthy ecosystems and enhance natural areas throughout the city. It’s going to be an exciting opportunity for park visitors to see the ebb and flow of tides into the salt marsh, and the seasonal patterns of bird activity and vegetation change.”

Partnership between Park Board and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

The salt marsh is a partnership between the Park Board and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. The concept plan was created after three rounds of public consultation and ongoing engagement with Aboriginal groups. The salt marsh design includes viewing platforms, interpretive signs, picnic tables, and enhanced access to the east beach.

The Park Board has committed $400,000 to the project, while the Port will fund the remainder of the project’s $3-million budget. Park Board staff will work with the Port to advance the concept plan through detailed design, permitting and construction with a completion target of spring 2017.

“Our partnership with the Vancouver Park Board on this project supports the goals of our Habitat Enhancement Program, which focuses on creating, restoring and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat,” said Duncan Wilson, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility. “New Brighton Park provides a significant opportunity for the program and we look forward to working with the Board to complete the project.”

Salt marsh supports biodiversity strategy

The salt marsh supports the Park Board’s Biodiversity Strategy and Bird Strategy, and was proposed as part of the 2011 Hastings Park / PNE Master Plan.

Learn more about the salt marsh