New Nesting Platform Eagle-Approved

New Nesting Platform Eagle-Approved
Residents of Vancouver’s North Shore have some new feathery neighbours. A pair of bald eagles has moved into a nesting platform built last summer at MacKay Creek estuary, which was recently restored as part of HCTF’s Burrard Inlet Restoration Pilot Program . Eric Anderson of the BC Institute of Technology led the project to construct a platform at the head of the estuary, adjacent to the Spirit Trail. The host tree was selected by biologist David Hancock , whose extensive experience with eagle nest construction was critical to identifying a cottonwood of suitable size, shape, and location. To get the tree eagle-ready, arborists carefully pruned some of the non-dominant stems to improve accessibility. Next, a cedar frame was attached using special lines designed to allow the tree to move and grow unharmed.   Finally, the frame was lined with cedar boughs to make it a little more inviting for any prospective tenants.   It appears to have worked!       HCTF provided a grant both for the construction of the platform as well as complementary studies by four BCIT students​ of eagle ecology that will inform future nest construction projects. The grant was made possible through an endowment HCTF...
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Rewilding Burrard Inlet

Rewilding Burrard Inlet
HCTF's Burrard Inlet Restoration Pilot Program was recently featured in the Vancouver Sun and CBC News as a great example of rewilding, the concept of supporting the re-establishment of key species in areas where human actions have caused them to disappear. Though the term "rewilding" has been around since the mid-nineties, the idea has received increased media attention in BC with the publication of Vancouverite J.B. McKinnon's Once and Future World. Increasingly, biologists, NGOs, corporations and governments are considering the potential of restoring fish and wildlife habitat in even the most urban areas, re-connecting a city with its not-so-distant, wilder past. For example, Vancouver was once home to over 50 salmon streams , most of which have been eliminated through residential and industrial development. Those that have survived are often heavily degraded, especially their estuarine habitats where freshwater meets sea. These estuaries are critically important for juvenile salmonids that are transitioning to salt water, and these have been the focus for restoration work under the Burrard Inlet Restoration Pilot Program. HCTF created the Burrard program in 2012 as a way of maximizing the benefits that could be achieved using creative sentencing money from the 2007 Burnaby oil spill . Projects...
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CBC Covers Seymour Planting Event

CBC Covers Seymour Planting Event

A big thank you to the dozens of volunteers that attended last weekend’s community planting event at the Seymour River estuary. The group did a phenomenal job of planting thousands of native plants during the low-tide window on Saturday morning. The plants will provide a critical source of food and shelter for fish, insects, birds and other animals.

The planting event was featured on CBC News Vancouver:

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Volunteer In Vancouver

Seymour_estuary_aerial_small.jpgHere's another opportunity to participate in an HCTF-funded restoration project. The BCIT Rivers Institute has organized a volunteer planting day at Seymour River Estuary on Saturday, June 13th.

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Underwater Peek at New Generation of Coho in MacKay Creek

Underwater Peek at New Generation of Coho in MacKay Creek
A school of young coho salmon was recently spotted in the upper reaches of MacKay Creek estuary on Vancouver's North Shore. Jim Roberts of Hemmera Inc. kindly shared this underwater video taken just upstream of where a large concrete weir was removed in September 2013 as part of the Burrard Inlet Restoration Pilot Program .   The red arrow in the aerial photo below shows the location where Jim captured the footage and the blue arrow points to the former site of the weir, which had blocked fish from accessing the upper estuary and creek during low tide. Since the weir's removal, chum salmon have been spotted making their way up the creek, but this is our first look at evidence that coho have successfully spawned in the recently-restored system. Dr. Ken Ashley, HCTF Board member and Director of BCIT’s Rivers Institute, says that with the weir gone (and depending on ocean survival rates), we should start to see the rebuilding of the coho population in MacKay Creek.    
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