Environment Minister Terry Lake will be celebrating the near-completion of the project today, Monday, with members of the Kwikwetlem First Nation who were key to its development
Lake will join Metro Vancouver Environment and Parks Committee Chair Heather Deal and Kwikwetlem First Nation Chief Ron Giesbrecht in a ceremony to welcome the salmon, unveil a new interpretive sign on the Colony Farm walking path and showcase the habitat enhancement work.
The project, located on the “Wilson Farm” portion of Colony Farm Regional Park, has build a vital habitat for juvenile salmon and restored tidal function to a part of a river traditionally ranked high in the Outdoor Recreation Council’s ‘Endangered Rivers List’.
“This project went a long ways to addressing a major limiting factor to the production of salmon in the Coquitlam River,” said Dr. Craig Orr, environmental consultant to the Kwikwetlem First Nation in a press release. “Urbanization has claimed much of the juvenile salmon habitat in the lower Fraser River area, and this project aimed to restore a large part of that critical habitat.”
The Wilson Farm project, a negotiated highway construction mitigation project funded by the provincial Gateway Transportation Project, has deepened and expanded existing channels for juvenile fish, replaced old tidal pumps with newer and fish friendly pumps, and added cool groundwater to allow fish to survive better. The project was planned with help from experts from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the private sector, and input from the public. It was also designed to have minimal impacts on the old field habitat of Colony Farm Park and its associated wildlife.
The project received complaints from Burke Mountain Naturalists but went ahead with public consultation.