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Squamish Spit deconstruction to be completed by mid-May

The Squamish River Watershed Society reports that the last 550 metres of removal should be finished by May 15.

The Squamish River Watershed Society (SRWS) says that the current Spit Road deconstruction aims to be completed by mid-May.

The society held a public meeting at the Sea to Sky Hotel on April 11, which had about 20 attendees. Updates about the Central Estuary Restoration Project (CERP) were given by the representatives from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), InStream Fisheries Research and the society.

Edith Tobe, the executive director of SRWS said that deconstruction of the Spit up to the yellow gate should be complete by May 15. This includes removing the rocks and debris on the road.

Tobe reported the organization already has interested buyers for the material from the District of Squamish, Miller Capilano and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. The buyers are responsible for transporting the material off the road.

Tobe said that previously they had sold some of the material to Oceanfront Squamish.

When deconstruction of this section of the Spit is complete, a total of 850 metres will have been removed from the berm, creating an opening for fish and other wildlife to have access to the estuary.

Murray Manson, a biologist with DFO, said they are required to monitor the sedimentation travel and impacts on the Squamish Terminals for at least five years and rectify any issues they may face. However, both he and Tobe said previous hydraulic modelling completed on berm removal scenarios largely concluded there would not be a significant impact.

A biologist with InStream Fisheries Research, Katrina Cook, said that some fish were already using the different routes that have resulted from the project, although she described the data so far as a “small sample size.”

About 73 fish were tagged and 57 were detected. Of those 57, 39 went to Howe Sound and 18 went to the estuary. Of those 18, six used the recently opened 300-metre breach, three used a culvert and nine went around the island leftover at the end of the Spit.

One attendee asked Cook if there was a set goal for the number of fish they hoped would use the estuary, but she said for now, they were just trying to gather data and information.

She also said they did not expect every fish to use the estuary, describing it akin to how some children are ready to move out of their homes at 17, whereas others will be ready when they are older.

Tobe said the next phase includes culvert installation at the CN rail line. The project’s website describes this phase as “a flow control device under the CN rail spur to re-water historical channels.”

For more information about the restoration project, please visit

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