Prince Rupert Port Authority Celebrates Completion of Seal Cove Salt Marsh Restoration Project
PRINCE RUPERT PORT AUTHORITY CELEBRATES COMPLETION OF SEAL COVE SALT MARSH RESTORATION PROJECT
April 27, 2022
The newly revitalized Seal Cove area and Salt Marsh project is now officially open to the public. The extensive Salt Marsh habitat restoration project was undertaken by the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) through a partnership with the City of Prince Rupert. PRPA directly invested $4 million to overhaul the area by regenerating fish habitat and establishing a new recreational asset for the community on the City’s waterfront property.
Over the past century, industrial and other human activities have caused severe degradation to the Salt Marsh, depleting it of the natural aquatic vegetation that once thrived in the area. With the aim of restoring the ecosystem, the work at Seal Cove centered on regrading intertidal areas and transplanting eelgrass and other underwater plants to create new habitat for fish and other aquatic species. An existing creek, once hidden in a culvert, was exposed and additional shoreline vegetation was added to develop more places for birds and other wildlife to forage, breed, and nest.
The remaining work focused on installing a new lighted pathway and pedestrian bridge, picnic tables and seating areas for the benefit of Prince Rupert residents and visitors to the community. Designed to be used year-round, the 600 metre walkway encircles the Salt Marsh and links directly to Rushbrook Trail, enhancing connectivity and offering a new destination for trail users.
“The measures undertaken to revitalize the Seal Cove Salt Marsh are a clear example of the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s commitment to minimize the environmental impacts of port activity and share the benefits of our trade gateway with the community that enables it,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “It is incredible to see the transformation that has taken place in Seal Cove in regard to addressing ecological sustainability, while simultaneously meeting the community’s call for greater waterfront access and recreational opportunities.”
The extensive revitalization work was completed by PRPA to compensate for aquatic habitat impacted by the development of the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor. In collaboration with the City of Prince Rupert, the Seal Cove site was selected as it presented an opportunity to meet both PRPA’s environmental compliance obligations and the needs of the community at large. The ongoing maintenance of the pathway and picnic areas will be undertaken by the City.
”We are happy to see this component of the Redesign Rupert 2030 Vision Plan coming to life, especially the dedicated public space. When we unveiled the Plan, this community space and revitalization project in Seal Cove was one of the early deliverables, and we are glad to have been able to see it through for the community thanks to investment from the Port of Prince Rupert,” said Mayor Lee Brain, City of Prince Rupert.
In lieu of an Earth Day, PRPA, the City of Prince Rupert, and the North Coast Ecology Centre Society co-hosted a special grand opening celebration for the community on April 23rd, 2022. More than a dozen local groups took part in the family-friendly event, where tours and activities were offered to community members.