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TitleSensitivity of the Roberts Bank tidal flats (Vancouver, Canada) to climate change and anthropogenic alteration
AuthorHill, P R; Houser, C; Lintern, D G; Shaw, A; Soloman, S; Sutherland, T; Levings, C; Tansey, J
SourceProceedings of Littoral 2004, 7th International Symposium: delivering sustainable coasts: connecting science and policy; by Green, D R (ed.); vol. 2, 2004 p. 648-649
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 2004054
PublisherCambridge Publications
MeetingLittoral 2004, 7th International Symposium; Aberdeen, Scotland; GB; September 20-22, 2004
ProvinceWestern offshore region
AreaRoberts Bank
Lat/Long WENS-123.5000 -123.0000 49.2500 49.0000
SubjectsNature and Environment; deltas; tidal flats; sediment transport; coastal environment; intertidal environment; climate effects; climate; sea level changes; climate change
Illustrationslocation maps
ProgramClimate Change Impacts and Adaptation Program
ProgramReducing Canada's Vulnerability to Climate Change
ProgramFisheries and Oceans Canada, Science Branch, Funding Program
AbstractThe Roberts Bank tidal flats form part of the intertidal zone of the Fraser River Delta bordering suburbs of Greater Vancouver and the Tsawwassen First Nation Reserve. They represent an important habitat for a variety of migratory birds and juvenile salmon and are also the site of two major port facilities, the deltaport (coal and container terminals) and the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, both located at the edge of the tidal flats and connected to the mainland by causeways. A study of the impacts of climate change induced rising sea level on the tidal flats is being carried out in a multi-stakeholder context. At the same time, a major expansion of the Deltaport is being considered and a proposal for habitat creation using clean dredge spoil has been tabled. The multidisciplinary approach begins with the geomorphological monitoring and sediment transport measurements aimed at modelling the evolution of tidal flat profile and construction of physical change scenarios. These results will be integrated with data from sensitive habitat monitoring, migratory bird behavioural studies and benthic infauna measurments to produce habitat change scenarios. The impacts of climate change on communities and stakeholders will be assessed through a carefully-crafted consultation process, economic function analysis and evaluation of the climate change scenarios at community meetings. The ultimate aim is for the communities and stakeholders to develop adaptation options for the prospect of rising sea level in this sensitive coastal environment.

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