Build Salt Marshes
Salt marshes are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, and certainly some of the most productive that occur here on the BC coast (where we have a distinct lack of tropical rainforests and reefs). Salt marshes are nurseries for fishes and invertebrates, and provide an immense amount of food for other animals - especially migrating birds.
However, as the Vancouver coastline has been developed and re-developed many of these valuable habitats have been destroyed. This is not entirely a sad story, as much of the Vancouver shore has been redeveloped in to the Sea Wall and other community assets, but the city's lack of salt marshes is an environmental concern.
I'm not suggesting that we demolish the Sea Wall and try to return everything to the way it was two or three centuries ago. What I am suggesting is finding suitable locations in Vancouver to build new salt marshes or regrow old ones.
This may sound like a tall order, but it's just like planting new trees in a park - with pre-planning and a concerted effort we could bring back some valuable marine ecosystems, provide food for migratory birds, and show everyone the beauty of Vancover's marine life.
Hastings Park/PNE Master Plan staff team commented
The City of Vancouver is currently developing a Master Plan for Hastings Park and one of the plan’s proposals is to daylight Renfrew Creek which currently runs through a pipe underneath the park. The daylighted stream is proposed connect The Sanctuary pond to New Brighton Park and the Burrard Inlet. In New Brighton Park a salt marsh is proposed to be designed and planted with native marsh plants. For images and descriptions of the proposed daylighted stream visit: http://vancouver.ca/pnepark/pdf/june2010/componentsA.pdf
Janna L. Sylvest commented
This idea goes hand in hand with daylighting our lost creeks, the tidal portion of these lost creeks used to be salt marsh. A good place to start would be New Brighton Park just North of Hastings Park (better known as the PNE grounds). Continue with the daylighting of Hastings Creek from the small area in Hastings Park that has been regreened, through into New Breighton Park on the Burrard Inlet. Since the City is currently reviewing proposals to further green Hastings Park, now would be the time to plan, at least in a way that doesn't eliminate this potential in later stages.
Steven Forth commented
Yes, this is crucial on many levels - improving fishing and therefore local food, improving net primary productivity (which should be a critical sustainability/resilience metric), and in providing a more diverse environment. Will have to find a vote to allocate to this!