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Transcript of Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project Sean McNulty, M.Sc., Manager,...

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

    Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project

    Sean McNulty, M.Sc., Manager, Environment, Infrastructure Sustainability Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

    James Rourke, M.Sc., RPBio, Senior Biologist Hemmera

    May 27, 2019

    Coastal birds – western sandpiper and biofilm EIS Sections 11.0 and 15.0

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority 2

    • Summary of assessment conclusions, mitigation, and follow-up

    • Assessment work

    • Western sandpiper (WESA)

    • Biofilm

    • Freshwater and tidal exchange

    • Biofilm quantity, quality, and WESA

    • Conclusions

    Overview – Coastal birds: western sandpiper (WESA)

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

    With mitigation, the project is predicted to result in negligible adverse residual effects to western sandpiper (WESA)

    • WESA are abundant and adapted to the variable environment at Roberts Bank

    • Estuarine biofilm consumed by WESA is abundant, ubiquitous, and resilient

    • High quality biofilm is present under freshwater and marine conditions at Roberts Bank

    • There is, and will be, a surplus of food (including biofilm) for WESA and other shorebirds with the project in place

    • Follow-up monitoring under an adaptive management approach will verify effects predictions

    Assessment conclusions, mitigation, and follow-up

    3

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

    Assessment work

    4

    • 20 studies conducted spanning six years

    Robust, expert-led science underpins the assessment

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

    Existing Condition Studies (2012 - 2013)

    • Biofilm: Annual Abundance and Variability, Physical Factors, Community Composition, Hyperspectral Mapping, Shear Stress, Regeneration

    • Shorebirds: Migration distribution and abundance, Migratory Connectivity, WESA Genetics, WESA Diet, Overwintering Distribution and Abundance, Dunlin Genetics, Dunlin Regional Distribution, Agriculture Usage, Shorebird Foraging Opportunity

    • Invertebrate: abundance, distribution and composition

    Additional Studies (2016 - 2018)

    • Biofilm Dynamics during Northward Migration (2016)

    • WESA Selective Feeding of Biofilm Communities (2016)

    • Biofilm Dynamics during Northward Migration (2017)

    • Biofilm Dynamics during Northward Migration (2018)

    Assessment work – study program breadth and depth

    5

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    Western sandpiper (WESA) at Roberts Bank

    WESA is an abundant migratory shorebird

    • One of the most abundant shorebird species in North America (3.5M)

    • The Fraser River Estuary is one of several important migratory stopover sites

    • Roberts Bank supports ~600,000 individuals during a typical northward migration

    • ~17% of population utilize Roberts Bank annually during northward migration

    6Drever et al. 2014, Andres et al. 2012

    17%

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

    Shorebirds at Roberts Bank

    Hemmera 2014 7

    (Northward migration: 2012, 2013, 2014)

    Distribution and abundance

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    Biofilm Invertebrates

    Western sandpiper (WESA) at Roberts Bank

    Kuwae et al. 2008, 2012, Jardine et al. 2012 8

    WESA has a flexible diet comprised of biofilm and invertebrates, both of which are abundant

    • Biofilm - 37-68% daily energy requirements at Roberts Bank

    • Invertebrates - 32-63% of energy requirements

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority 9

    Biofilm at Roberts Bank

    EIS Figure 11-3 Adapted from Decho et al. 2000

    Nutrient-rich, estuarine biofilm is abundant and ubiquitous at Roberts Bank and present throughout the Fraser River Estuary

    • Biofilm is an assemblage of micro-organisms primarily comprised of diatoms

    Surface Layer Biofilm

    Key Diatom Taxa

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

    Biofilm at Roberts Bank

    10

    Biofilm and WESA are adapted to highly variable daily, seasonal, and inter-annual conditions

    CEAR#1215, 1385 | EIS Section 6.5, 9.7

    Fraser River discharge: inter-annual variation

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority 11

    Biofilm at Roberts Bank

    Biofilm at Roberts Bank is adapted to extremely variable conditions including daily desiccation, inundation, and large fluctuations in salinity associated with tidal cycles

    EIS Section 6.5, 9.7

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority 12

    Biofilm at Roberts Bank

    Biofilm Dynamics Study Area (2016-2018)

    EIS Section 6.5, 9.7

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    Biofilm at Roberts Bank

    13

    Abundant biofilm of similar taxonomic and fatty acid composition occurs across the salinity gradient at Roberts Bank

    CEAR#934, 1215, 1385

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    Biofilm quantity, quality, and WESA

    14CEAR# 1385 (adapted from Figure 4-1)

    (H, I) (Y, A, C)

    Strata

    (X, J)

    - salinity +

    High quality biofilm exists across the salinity gradient at Roberts Bank

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    WESA forage on estuarine biofilm and invertebrates across the salinity gradient at Roberts Bank

    Biofilm at Roberts Bank

    15

    Figure 4-1 Shorebird Abundance and Foraging Use in the Fraser River Estuary during Migration Technical Data Report

    Biofilm distributionWESA foraging distribution

    Hemmera 2014 (WESA) | EIS Section 11, Figure 11-7 (Biofilm)

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    • Video link:

    • https://youtu.be/phpi0gKk3fw

    Freshwater and tidal exchange at Roberts Bank

    16Adapted from EIS Appendix 9.5-A

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    There is, and will be, a surplus of food (including biofilm) for WESA and other shorebirds with the project in place

    Daily Northward Migration Survey Results

    Capacity of Biofilm for WESA w/Project

    Biofilm quantity, quality, and WESA

    17CWS; EIS Appendix 15-B [Shorebird Foraging Opportunity Model]

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

    With mitigation, the project is predicted to result in negligible adverse residual effects to western sandpiper

    • Western sandpiper are abundant and adapted to the variable environment at Roberts Bank

    • Estuarine biofilm consumed by western sandpiper is abundant, ubiquitous, and resilient

    • High quality biofilm is present under freshwater and marine conditions at Roberts Bank

    • There is, and will be, a surplus of food (including biofilm) for western sandpiper and other shorebirds with the project in place

    Conclusions

    18

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

    A follow-up monitoring under an adaptive management approach will verify effects predictions

    • Verify predictions of salinity levels in the intertidal water column (Appendix C15, Updated Project Commitments)

    • Verify effects on the capacity of the local assessment area to support WESA prey (Appendix C14, Updated Project Commitments)

    • Abundance/density of biofilm (fatty acids, carbohydrates, chlorophyll a)

    • Abundance/density of invertebrates (fatty acids, carbohydrates)

    Conclusions

    19CEAR# 1683

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority 20

    Thank you