The upcoming proposed Deltaport Expansion and the horrible consequences on Western Sandpipers and Barn Owls

On May 27, 2019, there was a community hearing on the effects that the proposed Delta Port Expansion in  the Fraser River Estuary would have on Shorebirds and Biofilm.  Bird Studies Canada (BSC) was in attendance and so was Environment and Climate Change Canada. Both of them put forward a presentation each on how detrimental it will be for western sandpipers and even Barn Owls. Barn Owls will be affected by road mortality due to the increasing amount of traffic travelling to and from the port at all hours of the day especially night when they are out hunting. Environment and Climate Change Canada stressed that biofilm cannot be recreated (as the Port Authority states) and that this will significantly decrease the Western Sandpiper population here at their final staging ground before heading to Alaska. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) points out several reasons why they feel the expansion should not go ahead.

To read these presentations in Pdf format click HERE and HERE
BSC's writted submission is HERE
ECCC also provided this recent scientific paper you can access HERE

The Port of Vancouver replied with a disappointing response basically saying that Environment and Climate Change Canada are wrong about biofilm not being able to be recreated and also listed many points where they thought ECCC was in error about.  They also respond to Bird Studies Canada and state that with mitigation there will be no adverse effects to Coastal Birds nor to Barn Owls. To read their responses click HERE and HERE

There will be a community meeting happening on May 31, 2019. This topic-specific session on alternative means of carrying out the designated Project will be held at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn, 1665 56 St, Delta from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm

There will be another community meeting happening on  June 1, 2019 . This community session will be held at the Tsawwassen Recreation Centre, 1929 Tsawwassen Drive, Tsawwassen.

Even the First Nations across the border in the US are extremely upset about this and protesting. They will be in attendance at the upcoming hearings. To watch a video Global News recently made on this click below:

It does seem right now like an almost hopeless battle where the Port Authority is ignoring the science and the detrimental effects it will have on shorebirds. Money is talking but we as birders can't give up. Having a port expansion here will just destroy so much we love with terrible impacts that we won't be able to reverse the clock on. It will be a very sad place with no Western Sandpipers and Brant and even less of the declining Barn Owls than we currently have.

Let's keep fighting and lending our voices so that this expansion never sees the light of day!


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