UBC Undergraduate Research

Life on the Edge : A Comparison of Vancouver’s Intertidal Systems with Recommendations for Biodiversity Enhancement in Northeast False Creek Walton, Tamara; Donohue, Marie; Wang, Weihao; Li, Qin


The shorelines of Northeast False Creek (NEFC) are getting an eco-makeover. The City of Vancouver has plans to transform the shores into flourishing intertidal zones equipped with seaweeds, shellfish and sea stars. With breathtaking views of the City, 10km of waterfront pathway, and beautiful, vibrant shorelines, NEFC could soon become Vancouver’s most popular outdoor attraction. [Image] Healthy intertidal zones, however, will bring much more than just natural beauty to NEFC. They have substantial ecological value as they provide food and spawning habitat for a diverse suite of organisms—including Great Blue Herons, Dungeness Crabs, and Pacific Herring. In addition, healthy shorelines house a variety of microbes which help breakdown the toxic substances found in urban run-off. This helps to maintain good water quality, which benefits both marine life and humans. Healthy intertidal zones will also bring significant societal value to NEFC. They are one of the most easily-accessible marine ecosystems and provide visitors the opportunity to connect with the ocean and discover its fascinating critters. In addition, intertidal zones provide irreplaceable outdoor classrooms for students learning about marine species and their habitats.

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