Seal Cove Salt Marsh project on schedule for summer opening


Seal Cove Salt Marsh project on schedule for summer opening

Restoration project creates places for wildlife to thrive and people to relax

May 31, 2021 | IMPRESS

PRPA Project and Field Services Technologist Khalid Elmourci stands above Seal Cove Salt Marsh, the site of a new habitat restoration project.

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Prince Rupert’s Seal Cove is being transformed. The neglected waterfront next to the Coast Guard and seaplane base is turning into a place where marine life can thrive, and people can learn about the environment — or just enjoy the view.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) is revitalizing the Seal Cove Salt Marsh as part of a habitat restoration project that will also improve recreational waterfront access for the public.

“We are overhauling the site, rebuilding the marine riparian and intertidal areas, mudflats, and eelgrass beds to create new fish habitat, which will also attract other wildlife,” says Ken Veldman, Prince Rupert Authority’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability. “The goal is to support the regeneration, growth and sustainability of local marine life, while simultaneously offering a unique outdoor asset for our community that connects to the existing Rushbrook Trail. It’s a great example of how we can balance new economic development with win-win solutions that improve our environmental and social well-being.”

A legacy of sustainability and commitment to community

The $4 million project is fully funded and managed by PRPA on land provided by the City of Prince Rupert. Since breaking ground in February, crews from Coast Tsimshian Northern Contractors Alliance, a local First Nations joint venture, have levelled and graded the site, installed underground services, and begun restoring the mouth of a freshwater creek.

In the coming weeks, workers will begin transplanting eelgrass, collected from locations around Prince Rupert, into the newly revamped intertidal area and mudflats. They will also plant new trees and other vegetation around the shoreline, and install a new pedestrian bridge, benches, and lighting along a pathway that will encircle the marsh by utilizing the existing trestle bridge.

“These enhancements will bring new life to a part of Prince Rupert’s waterfront that’s been historically impacted by human and industrial activity,” said Veldman. “We are committed to ensuring the future of Seal Cove is cleaner, greener and more welcoming for the many species that call it home, as well as providing people with a safe place to take a stroll or sit and relax with family and friends.”

Work will continue at the site throughout June and July. PRPA expects the new landmark to be ready for the public to enjoy in mid-summer. The Seal Cove Salt Marsh is one of several habitat restoration projects funded by PRPA and it compensates for habitat impact associated with the Fairview Ridley Connector-Corridor.

To learn more about the Port’s commitment to habitat enhancement and track record of successful compensation projects visit rupertport.com/sustainability.

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