Through Ausenco’s work for Vancouver Fraser Port Authority on habitat banking, we have gained in-depth knowledge of habitat offsetting options, which can lower capital costs, expedite regulatory approval, and support relationship-building.
Since the inception of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s (VFPA’s) Habitat Enhancement Program (HEP), Ausenco has been working closely with the VFPA in support of the HEP. HEP is an initiative focused on creating and enhancing fish and wildlife habitats. This program is a proactive measure intended to provide a balance between a healthy environment and future development projects that may be required for port operations.
Our staff are involved in all aspects of the program’s implementation, including identifying and tracking habitat enhancement opportunities, conducting baseline ecological studies, providing environmental input towards project design, acquiring environmental permits, negotiating habitat credits with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), providing environmental oversight during construction, and guiding the implementation of a program-wide monitoring program.
We’re also providing ongoing strategic recommendations and guidance to VFPA through the regulatory processes with DFO and other key regulators, including Environment Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service and Disposal at Sea Program), BC Environmental Assessment Office, and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. In addition to our technical advisory services, our project team supports public, stakeholder, and First Nations engagement and consultation.
The HEP projects that have been completed to date include tidal marsh (freshwater, brackish, and salt) construction and restoration, including an extensive salt marsh restoration project in Boundary Bay, and an intertidal shoreline habitat restoration project at New Brighton Park.
Ausenco’s existing role in providing environmental services to the HEP ranges from strategic advice to active support, including liaison with key regulators to implementation activities through all phases of HEP project lifecycles. Through our work for the VFPA on habitat banking, we have gained in-depth knowledge of habitat offsetting options, which can lower capital costs, expedite regulatory approval, and support relationship-building with the VFPA. We recently participated in a salt marsh restoration project within Boundary Bay, for which our technical experts completed extensive ecological studies and acquired all necessary permit approvals.