Prince Rupert Port Authority Announces Seal Cove Habitat Restoration Project
December 13, 2019
The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) announced today a collaborative agreement with the City of Prince Rupert to incorporate new public recreational access into a wetlands and fish restoration project along the Seal Cove Slough shoreline.
Through partnering with the City of Prince Rupert, PRPA has found a way to leverage its investment in habitat restoration to contribute to community amenities in the vicinity of the Seal Cove Slough. This habitat compensation project will include the development of new marine riparian areas, intertidal marshes and mudflats, eelgrass beds, and other shoreline planting, and will also serve to enhance visual appeal and feature environmental education components. It will encompass a lighted pathway around the slough, a pedestrian bridge, benches, tables, and interpretive signage, becoming another community waterfront asset.
“Environmental sustainability is a core value of the Prince Rupert Port Authority and this habitat enhancement project will reinvigorate an area impacted by historical industrial use while creating new recreational waterfront access,” said Shaun Stevenson, President & CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “This project builds upon the direction set by the Prince Rupert 2030 Vision and compliments past PRPA investments in community waterfront access made over the past two decades, including Atlin Terminal, Northland Terminal, Cow Bay Marina, Atlin Promenade and the Rushbrook Trail.”
“Seal Cove Slough, located near the Coast Guard and seaplane base on the northeast waterfront, presented a unique opportunity for the Prince Rupert Port Authority and the City of Prince Rupert to work together,” said Mayor Lee Brain, City of Prince Rupert. “The Redesign 2030 Vision has identified opportunities for partnerships to deliver projects that will make a difference to our quality of life and our future growth, and we are excited to see some of those opportunities already starting to take shape through commitments from the Port and others.”
Port development is required to mitigate environmental impacts wherever possible and where mitigation is not possible, compensate for habitat loss through habitat creation or restoration projects. These habitat compensation projects, also known as ‘offsets’, are designed to exceed the productive capacity of the habitat they are replacing or impacting. PRPA has an obligation to create and restore the marine habitat impacted by the construction of the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor and, working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, has identified the restoration of the Seal Cove Slough as an ideal project to achieve the habitat enhancement objectives of its compensation program.
Recent examples of PRPA habitat compensation projects include the development of artificial reefs in Porpoise Harbour and at the mouth of the inner harbour as compensation for projects such as the Road Rail Utility Corridor and Fairview Container Terminal expansion. These offsets have been monitored by DFO since their installation and have proven to be highly successful in their abilitdy to support a rich diversity and abundance of marine life.