Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Metro Vancouver Monitoring Shows No Ecosystem Impacts

By Mark Edward Nero

A program to monitor and manage the ecosystem of the Roberts Bank inter-causeway area has concluded after eight years that the ecosystem has not suffered significant negative impacts due to the construction of a third berth at Port Metro Vancouver’s Deltaport container terminal.

The independent monitoring program, called the Adaptive Management Strategy, was developed by Port Metro Vancouver in consultation with Environment Canada. It included a scientific advisory committee comprised of three scientists appointed to provide independent scientific and technical advice and recommendations to prevent or mitigate any significant negative ecosystem trends attributable to the Deltaport Third Berth Project.

The program was designed to look specifically for changes to the nutrient balance in the water, and for potential erosion effects, both of which could negatively affect the ecosystem of the area located between the Roberts Bank and Highway 17 causeways in Delta.

It was initiated in 2007 when construction of the Deltaport third berth commenced, and carried through until 2014. Science-based monitoring concluded there was no evidence of significant environmental impacts from the project.

One small localized area behind a tugboat basin showed changes in water and sediment quality due to poor drainage, and the port authority responded by installing a swale in a berm to increase drainage.

“It is very encouraging to see the plan put in place nine years ago has been successful in protecting the ecosystem at Roberts Bank,” said Duncan Wilson, Port Metro Vancouver’s Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility.

The final report on the strategy, as well as yearly reports since 2007, is available on Port Metro Vancouver’s website: http://www.portmetrovancouver.com/working-with-us/permitting/project-and-environmental-reviews/status-of-applications/deltaport-third-berth-project/