A new tidal wetland in New Brighton Park in east Vancouver has been created to improve access to nature for park visitors, and provide habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife.
The Vancouver Park Board and Port of Vancouver, in consultation with Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, have worked together on this unique project to improve the health of Burrard Inlet.
The project is a significant opportunity to enhance coastal wetland habitat on the south shore of Burrard Inlet. Loss of tidal wetlands from Coal Harbour to Second Narrows has impaired the area’s ability to support fish and wildlife.
The creation of a salt marsh is also part of the restoration of Hastings Creek through Hastings Park.
“The intertidal zone in New Brighton Park was filled in during the rapid growth of Vancouver in the 1960s. This project removed some of this fill and created a wetland that is critical for migrating fish and birds. It’s an exciting project and we’ve already seen chum and chinook salmon fry using the wetland this spring,” said Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe.
Park redesign. Courtesy City of Vancouver.
“Vancouver residents cherish healthy ecosystems and biodiversity and the Park Board continues to look for more ways to enhance it.”
The Park Board is working on similar biodiversity projects elsewhere such as restoring a historical stream through Volunteer and Tatlow parks on the city’s west side. Construction is expected to begin next summer.
These initiatives support the Park Board’s Biodiversity Strategy to improve ecosystems throughout the city. The strategy emphasizes the conservation of native ecosystems and species and balances this against urban adaptations, like green roofs, stormwater wetlands, and pollinator meadows.
The strategy also outlines goals for freshwater wetlands, which “are rare in Vancouver because of sloping topography and historical development. About 53 hectares of freshwater wetlands are currently found in the city.”