Heart of the Fraser Development Stopped!

Herrling Island Bridge Denied

For Immediate Release: July 27, 2019 – Surrey, BC

The BC Government has denied an application for a permit to build a permanent fixed link access bridge to Herrling Island in the area of the lower Fraser River known as the Heart of the Fraser. The BCWF and conservation partners have called for this crucial sturgeon rearing habitat to be protected from development.

BCWF past-president Harvey Andrusak said, “this is a significant step in preserving the functioning of the gravel reach which is critical habitat for sturgeon and salmon on the lower Fraser River. We commend the provincial government for recognizing the unique fish habitat values of this area of the Fraser in turning down the bridge application.”

The crown authority determined that, on balance, it is in the public interest to disallow the application. The BCWF is optimistic that similar consideration will be taken on the application to build a bridge to Carey Island, which is also in the Heart of the Fraser.

The BC Wildlife Federation is grateful to our members and conservation partner groups for supporting our coalition petition to turn down the applications to build bridges to Herrling and Carey islands.  We want to acknowledge that the People of the River Referrals Office, on behalf of eleven Stó:lō communities, gave notice that they reject the bridge applications. The decision to reject the bridge permit was made because Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups opposed the development over concern about the potential impacts to sensitive aquatic habitats.

Chuck Zuckerman, BCWF Vice-President and Past President of Region 2 Lower Mainland, said, “This is a stunning victory for our classic salmon, sports fishers, the commercial fishery, and First Nations fisheries. It is another step in preserving the spawning habit for sturgeon, steelhead, eulachon and salmonids.”

The BCWF launched the campaign to protect the Heart of the Fraser with like-minded conservation leaders and educators and would like to thank Mark Angelo from the Outdoor Recreation Council, Ken Ashley and his team at the Rivers Institute at BCIT and Watershed Watch for their leadership. We continue to work together on the campaign to purchase the islands and conserve the Heart of the Fraser for future generations.

Read the governments decision here.

Learn more about the Defend the Heart of the Fraser Campaign and take the pledge here.

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