> Estuary Management Plan >
Action Programs > Fish and Wildlife Habitat
The Fraser River estuary is home to an extraordinary number of species.
Some, like salmon and herons, are well known; others like sundews (wetland
plants) and polychaetes (mudflat worms) are little-known, but are no less
important to the continued health of the Fraser River ecosystem. Since
the 1800s however, roughly 70% of the estuary's original tidal wetlands
have been lost to dyking, dredging, draining and filling.
To ensure that the remaining habitat is maintained and that new habitat
is allowed to develop, the Estuary
Management Plan (EMP) directs the FREMP partners to:
- keep tabs
on habitat losses and gains in the Estuary;
and refine the FREMP habitat coding system;
- identify and help
secure protection for particularly important habitat.
Through the EMP and
the FREMP partners, a number of activities have occurred to protect and
Habitat Inventory and Classification
FREMP is currently improving the habitat inventory and classification
systems using an "ecological
features and functions" approach.
through the Nature Legacy Program
This program allowed for more than 2,500 hectares of new parkland to be
created for both conservation and recreation.
Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)
The provincial government has created new WMAs at Boundary Bay, Roberts
Bank, and at Sturgeon Bank.
There has been more than 75,000 square metres of estuarine marsh habitat,
more than 2,00 square metres of intertidal rock habitat, and more than
30,000 square metres of riparian habitat added to the Estuary.
Since 1986 -- the year FREMP's environmental review committee began its
work -- there has been a net gain of 96,000 square metres of productive
habitat from compensation and enhancement projects. There has been a significant
gain in the more productive habitat types such as marsh, at the expense
of the less valuable habitat such as subtidal and intertidal mud flats
that were filled in for the creation of marsh.