Seymour River Habitat Restoration

Instream and riparian habitat was enhanced along 250 m long section of the Seymour River in North Vancouver in 2008 as part of a flood protection project for the Squamish First Nation. Placement of contaminated fill and unstable banks on Squamish First Nation land were identified as potential risks to the river’s ecology during large floods. Habitat enhancement activities included: (1) construction of a 250 m long side-channel on the east side of the river; (2) construction of five bendway spurs and associated boulder clusters; (3) restoration of the river bank after removal of contaminated soil; (4) bioengineering treatments on the upper bank; and (5) creation of 5-8 m wide fenced riparian area that is vegetated with native plants.

Riparian restoration included extensive willow brushlayers and livestakes to increase riverbank cover and stabilize the upper bank (see photo above). Additional riparian plantings of trees and shrubs were undertaken in 2009 on a 5 to 8 m wide bench on the upper bank. After 3 years a dense thicket of riparian trees and shrubs have established. Some replanting of conifers (Douglas-fir, western redcedar) and big-leaf maple has been completed to address mortality from summer drought. Red alder has rapidly colonized exposed soil and some alder removal was undertaken in spring 2012 to reduce its desnity. As well, Himalayan blackberry, Scotch broom, and butterfly bush seedlings were cut or pulled to reduce their abundance during the early establishment phase (1st and 2nd growing season).

Location: Seymour River, North Vancouver, BC (between Mt Seymour Parkway and Dollarton Highway)
Squamish First Nation
Kerr Wood Leidal Associates, Next Environmental, Raincoast Applied Ecology
August 2008 to October 2009
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