Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to spend $1 million on Delta channel dredging

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to spend $1 million on Delta channel dredging

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority will spend $1 million to help dredge key Delta channels within the Fraser River communities, focusing on Ladner Harbour and Gunderson Slough.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority dredges deep sea channels to support Canada’s trade and for 10 years and as a gesture of good will, the port authority committed to providing a $7 million interim dredging solution to support the Fraser River communities.

As the funding for the program has now concluded, the port authority is working with government to identify other sources of funding that will provide a longer-term solution to support dredging in the local channels.

To protect fish stocks, dredging is not permitted from March through mid-July each year. More recently, due to concerns over at-risk white sturgeon, the dredging window for local channels has been restricted to between November and February each season. As such, the port authority will be issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to complete the dredging work.

Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Member of Parliament for Delta, said, “I am pleased to see the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority make this important investment in the prosperity and safety of our life on the Fraser River.

“I thank the Ladner Sediment Group and the City of Delta for their tireless work. We need a long-term sustainable strategy with ongoing funding for these channels to ensure efficient access to markets and maritime safety.

“This is an important first step. I am encouraged by the leadership of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in moving forward on this, and I welcome their commitment to finding a long-term solution.”

Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, also commented, “Dredging these channels will make it easier for vessels to safely navigate and potentially can help local biodiversity. We look forward to working with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and other partners to find an ongoing, sustainable, long-term solution to dredging the Fraser River.”

Robin Silvester, president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, was also quoted, “Dredging in the main arm of the Fraser River is essential to ensure that the port authority can continue to support trade and meet Transport Canada’s safe navigation requirements.

“We are pleased to support the governments as they work together to find a long-term, sustainable solution for local channel dredging that will protect the environment and benefit local communities.”

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