Riparian Area Enhancement

Client: 
Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited

Watts Point quarry is located approximately 6 km south of Squamish, British Columbia.  ConAgg Quarries (now Lehigh Hanson), which owns and operates the Watts Point operation, leases a portion of a lower access road which is used by multiple users to access adjacent properties.  Located directly adjacent to the ocean, the road was progressively eroding into the sound and adversely affecting the aquatic environment.  The need to repair the road and establish a riparian buffer strip was identified as a priority.

With Fisheries and Oceans Canada approval, road repair work was initiated in February 2003.  The majority of the work involved the removal of eroding material and the placement of armour and filter rock.  Between the shoreline and the roadway, a continuous riparian corridor was constructed.  Varying in width and extending the length of the road improvement, the planting corridor was designed to facilitate detention and treatment of roadway runoff, establish a biodiverse plant and animal corridor, and to improve aquatic habitat.  Approximately 1,800 m3 of fabricated soil was delivered and applied during the operation.  The fabricated soil was composed of biosolids, compost, sawdust and sand.  SYLVIS developed the fabricated soil formulation and supervised its production and placement at the site.  Over six hundred native trees and shrubs were planted in the rehabilitated riparian corridor along the multi-user access road.  Signs were posted on-site to describe the work that had been completed to date and to educate users of the road as to the sensitivity of this roadside habitat.  SYLVIS completed assessments of the riparian strip post-planting to evaluate plant survival and vigour. 

The rehabilitated riparian corridor is positively impacting both terrestrial and foreshore habitat.  Surface water no longer directly enters the ocean.  The roadside berm, soil, ground cover and planting stock slows and treats the road runoff.  The corridor has also stabilized the reconstructed roadway and will prevent mass erosion.  This project is an example of SYLVIS’s ability to work with multiple stakeholder groups to develop innovative, residuals-based solutions for environmental challenges.