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Delta/Richmond chapter opposes Port Metro Vancouver expansion

Delta-Richmond chapter

The Delta/Richmond chapter were at the second annual “Peep-in” yesterday.

The Council of Canadians Delta/Richmond chapter joined with Citizens Against Port Expansion and others yesterday to witness the migration stopover of western sandpipers on Roberts Bank.

For some context, Roberts Bank is an undersea bank on the south side of the estuary of the Fraser River approximately 35 kilometers south of Vancouver. The western sandpiper is a small shorebird whose breeding habitat is the tundra of eastern Siberia and Alaska and that migrates to both coasts of North America and South America.

Chapter activist Bob Ages further explains, “These birds that winter in South and Central America and return to the far north to breed in the summer depend on the biofilm of this shoreline of the Fraser Delta to fuel the next long leg of their journey. The entire species, as well as juvenile salmon, the southern resident Orca pods and many other species are threatened by the massive expansion plans of Port Metro Vancouver.”

Western Sandpiper

The expansion of the Port Metro Vancouver threatens the food source of the western sandpiper shorebird.

And as noted on their Facebook page here, “Formed by members of three South Delta churches, Citizens Against Port Expansion wants to help ramp up community awareness and opposition to Port Metro Vancouver’s proposed Terminal 2.”

They highlight, “After full tide, as the water recedes, it leaves behind a coating of biofilm [otherwise known as slime]: food for shorebirds. Incredibly nutritious, plentiful food: delivered twice a day, regular as clockwork, to this inter-tidal wetland. …We believe that the construction & operation of Terminal 2 will produce a scouring effect in this inter-tidal area. Scouring will severely reduce (or possibly eliminate) the amount of biofilm being deposited. The consequences for shorebirds will be catastrophic.”

For a 4-minute video on the issue, please click here.