PRINCE RUPERT – The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) has begun work on a habitat restoration project in the Seal Cove area that will feature new and improved community recreational access on the Prince Rupert waterfront.
The Seal Cove Salt Marsh’s value as fish habitat has been highly impacted by historical human activity and industrial development, including the clearing of natural vegetation, disturbed intertidal habitat, and collection of waste and refuse. This habitat enhancement project will revitalize a freshwater creek, marine riparian areas, intertidal marshes and mudflats, eelgrass beds and other shoreline plantings, and enhance connectivity to Fern Passage and Seal Cove under the existing trestle bridge for marine life.
Through a collaborative partnership with the City of Prince Rupert, the project will also incorporate new recreational waterfront access that will enable local residents to enjoy the community’s newest jewel. The installation of a lighted pathway around the salt marsh, a pedestrian bridge, viewpoints and seating areas, and interpretive signage will greatly enhance the shoreline experience. In addition, the park’s proximity to Rushbrook Trail and Seal Cove seaplane base will make for a truly unique Prince Rupert landmark.
The $4 million project is being undertaken by Coast Tsimshian Northern Contractors Alliance. Construction is scheduled to be completed by July 2021 for public access and will take three to five years for the habitat enhancements to fully establish themselves. Progress will be monitored by PRPA on an ongoing basis through that time.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us to incorporate habitat compensation, environmental sustainability, and create a new public space for the community,” said Shaun Stevenson, President & CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “The Prince Rupert Port Authority has invested in several waterfront access projects, including the Rushhrook Trail, Atlin Promenade, Cow Bay Marina, Atlin & Northland Terminals, and the Seal Cove Salt Marsh project adds another opportunity for waterfront access in our community.”
“This sustainable, new development will enhance the lives of both people and wildlife, as well as upholds the Prince Rupert 2030 Vision for our community,” said Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain. “We are pleased to be collaborating with the Prince Rupert Port Authority on a project that will improve waterfront access and turn an underutilized section of our city into a recreational destination.”
The project site has been provided by the City of Prince Rupert, and development will be fully funded and managed by PRPA. The Seal Cove project is compensation for marine habitat impact associated with the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor. This is just one of many habitat restoration projects PRPA has undertaken as part of a robust program that offsets environmental impacts of new port project development.