The Fraser River Delta’s rich biodiversity makes it one of the most important ecosystems in the world and a Canadian ecological treasure.
Yet over 80 percent of the delta’s wild habitat has already been consumed by human activity. The area is now home to over 100 species at risk of extinction — including the vulnerable southern resident killer whale whose population was just 74 at the latest count1.
The destruction of the Fraser River Delta also puts the livelihoods of Canadian communities at risk. All five species of wild salmon in British Columbia rely on the area before beginning their ocean migration2. Once the greatest salmon-producing river on Earth, the Fraser River is now on the brink of collapse.
A priority-threat management plan could significantly improve the chances of rescuing most, if not all, species that depend on the estuary. However, the lack of a strong management plan, competing priorities, and uncoordinated governments continue to pose obstacles.
The federal government must intervene if we want to see a resolution that takes into account both economic development and the protection of the delta’s unique biodiversity value. Add your voice now, send the letter!
1Kehoe, L., & Martin, T. (2020). Fraser River Estuary in Need of Urgent Intensive Care, Branchlines (31st ed., Vol. 4). University of British Columbia. https://forestry.ubc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/bl-31.4.pdf
2Semeniuk, I. (2020, November 27). For the Fraser River delta, a crucial choice looms for species and a way of life. The Globe and Mail. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-for-the-fraser-river-delta-a-crucial-choice-looms-for-species-and-a/