Against Port Expansion in the Fraser Estuary BC
APE (Against Port Expansion in the Fraser Estuary BC) is a group of concerned citizens who recognize that plans for container terminal expansion on Roberts Bank (T2) will see the degradation of the quality of life for thousands of Lower Mainland residents; the industrialization of prime agricultural land; and the loss of globally-significant habitat for salmon, migrating birds and orca whales.
Save the Fraser Delta from Mega Projects
The Fraser River and Estuary is one of the most important areas in the whole of North America for its environmental diversity. It is recognized globally for its biodiversity and for the millions of shorebirds and other wildlife that it supports.
You would expect that an area so environmentally significant would have the highest level of protection that a nation can bestow on it.
And you would be dead wrong.
Various mega projects involving port and industrial development put the Fraser at risk. In fact the Fraser River and Estuary are at a tipping point.
The Boundary Bay Conservation Committee has recently published a report – “Save the Fraser Delta from Mega Projects”. This landmark report explains in detail the projects that are being planned and the environmental risks that result. Read the Full report here:
And then write to your MLA, your MP, the Prime Minister your Premier and other politicians and demand that they support an independent multi disciplinary science based study of each of these projects and their associated risks.
Port of Vancouver to Get Its Powers Reduced
Finally a Liberal MP from the Federal Government is speaking out about the abuse of power at Port Vancouver. Read the Vancouver Sun article of April 15 2016:.
Thank you MP Joe Peschisolido (Steveston-East Richmond) for stating the concerns that many of us have held for a long time about the way Port Vancouver carries out its business. Yes the Port rides roughshod over community concerns. This is all about an unaccountable, unresponsive federally appointed agency. This is all about an agency – i.e. Port Vancouver – that has massive powers and yet is answerable to nobody. This is all about a Port that can ignore significant environmental issues and amazingly has the power to make decisions on all kinds of projects for which the Port stands to gain financially. This is not how any government agency should be operating.
It is refreshing to see a local MP state that the Port is going to have to change the way it operates and for its powers to be cut back. This is the REAL CHANGE that many of us voted for. This was one of the core issues in the removal of the previous government.
Now what we really need is for the Federal Government to put in place a multidisciplinary, independent, science-based study to properly assess all the industrial projects that are being proposed for the Lower Fraser River and Estuary. Top of mind is Port Vancouver’s unsustainable plans for a second container terminal on Roberts Bank. This has been labelled already as the most damaging of all the projects which Port Vancouver has got its fingers into.
"The twin signatures of this era have been the mass export of products across vast distances (relentlessly burning carbon all the way), and the import of a uniquely wasteful model of production, consumption, and agriculture to every corner of the world (also based on the profligate burning of fossil fuels). Put differently, the liberation of world markets, a process powered by the liberation of unprecedented amounts of fossil fuels from the earth, has dramatically sped up the same process that is liberating Arctic ice from existence.”
― Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
Biofilm Gums Up Plans for T2
An excellent article by Larry Pynn in the March 21 Vancouver Sun explains why Port Metro Vancouver’s plans for a second container terminal on Roberts Bank put that whole world class ecosystem at risk from environmental degradation.
Read the full Vancouver Sun article here: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/tiny+algae+could+block+metro+vancouver+roberts+bank+container/11798022/story.html
In the printed version of this article there is also reference to Otto Langer’s report and a copy of the map of the Lower Fraser River and its estuary outlining the planned developments – most threatening of which is T2 - that will create a threat to fish and wildlife populations and our quality of life in this region and for all Canadians.
On the Map below number 1 is Roberts Bank Terminal 2 and the threat level is highest at 10
You can view the full report by Otto Langer by clicking here http://www.againstportexpansion.org/uploads/images/file_download/Threats_to_and_Corrective_Actions_for_the_Lower_Fraser_River_March_15_FINAL_2016_.pdf
As usual PMV was quick to downplay the potential impact of T2 but, unlike PMV’s own studies, this is independent science and therefore not influenced by the result that PMV wants so that it can prove that the environment is not at risk from the T2 project. PMV also makes the ridiculous assertion that there will still be plenty of biofilm for the migratory birds, completely ignoring the fact – as independent research has shown - that what is important is a special combination of light, salinity, nutrient and temperature factors which create the conditions to enrich the biofilm and produce the fatty acids that the birds require. These factors will change as a result of T2 and put the Western Sandpiper migration at risk.
As has been said many times “listen to what the birds are telling us”.
Prime Minister - Save the Fraser
The Lower Fraser River and its Estuary: Conservation Steps Needed to Protect and Sustain Fish and Wildlife and Our Quality of Life.
An Urgent Action Plan for the New Trudeau Government
By Otto E. Langer MSc Fisheries Biologist. March 15 2016
The Lower Fraser River and estuary has been through tremendous development over the past 160 years that has greatly altered its ability to support fisheries and wildlife. Presently a series of projects are proposed when Canada has greatly diminished laws to properly assess these projects and protect the environment. Projects of greatest negative impact concern in order of priority are:
1. Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project (greatest risk)
2. New Richmond – Delta Bridge.
3. Jet Fuel Project.
4. PMV habitat banking program
5. Kinder Morgan bitumen pipeline project
6. Increased water temperatures.
7. Fortis LNG Facility on Tilbury Island
8. Gravel mining in fish habitat areas
9. Flood control initiatives
10. River dredging for flood control and construction sand
11. Port expansion to Mission.
12. Increased shipping traffic in the estuary.
13. Surrey Fraser Dock coal export facility
14. 4th runway for Vancouver International Airport (lowest risk at this time).
An urgent action plan for the new government must include:
1. Port Metro conflict of interest between development and environmental protection must be resolved.
2. Make PMV accountable to public and local government.
3. Restore pre-2012 conditions back to CEAA, Fisheries and NWPA Acts.
4. Restore DFO will and capacity to do the job.
5. Address climate changes/ temperature issues affecting the Fraser.
6. Re-establish a Fraser River Estuary Management type organization.
7. Re-establish the federal role in environmental assessments in the Lower Fraser.
Otto Langer recently sent this report to the Prime Minister, key ministers in the Federal Government and selected politicians at the provincial and regional level urging them to take action to save the Fraser River and Estuary. To read the full report and recommendations click here
We also encourage you to write to your federal member of parliament, your MLA and your local council expressing support for these recommendations and urging governments at every level to start acting upon them.