Input sought on Surrey’s plans for a ‘Living Dyke’ along Boundary Bay, Mud Bay shorelines

City wants to build up salt marshes to protect against flooding

The City of Surrey is holding an open house on Jan. 26 to gather feedback on its plans to build a Living Dyke in Mud Bay and Boundary Bay. The ‘nature-based approach to flood protection’ is one of 13 projects underway to prepare for rising sea levels. (surrey.ca rendering)

The City of Surrey is holding an open house on Jan. 26 to gather feedback on its plans to build a Living Dyke in Mud Bay and Boundary Bay. The ‘nature-based approach to flood protection’ is one of 13 projects underway to prepare for rising sea levels. (surrey.ca rendering)

Public feedback is being sought on the City of Surrey’s plans to build a ‘Living Dyke’ in Mud Bay and Boundary Bay.

Described as an “innovative way to protect our coastline and community from increased flood risks,” the Mud Bay Nature-based Foreshore Enhancements Project is part of the city’s efforts to “become more resilient to coastal flooding.”

It is one of 13 projects identified to benefit from more than $76 million in federal government funding that was announced in May 2019 to help Surrey, Semiahmoo First Nation and Delta communities prepare for rising sea levels.

READ MORE: WATCH: $76 million pledged for coastal flooding mitigation in Surrey and Delta

According to information at surrey.ca, the Living Dyke is to be built immediately south of Highway 99, by Mud Bay Park and the Boundary Bay Dyke Trail; within SFN core territory and the traditional territories of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Sto:lo and Tsawwassen First Nations.

Aimed at helping the salt marshes – which provide benefits including wildlife habitat and reducing wave size – adapt to a one-metre sea-level rise, the project includes adding up to 6,400 cubic metres of sediment to the foreshore over time to gradually increase its elevation, and planting native marsh plants.

The concept is to be piloted at two locations – in front of the Boundary Bay Dyke in Delta, and on the shore immediately west of Mud Bay Park, with a combined length of approximately 790 metres of linear shoreline. It will test stabilization techniques including sand berms, soil wraps and oyster shell bags, with the results used to inform the design and construction of the Living Dyke in Surrey.

Work on the seven-hectare-plus project is anticipated to take place between February 2024 and June 2027.

Public input is sought on the project itself, as well as on the city’s request for the province to exempt it from an environmental assessment.

Feedback may be given online through Feb. 27. An in-person opportunity is set for 3-6 p.m. Jan. 26 at Surrey City Hall (13450 104 Ave.). In addition, a virtual open house is to be held from 12-1:30 p.m. on Feb. 1.



tracy.holmes@peacearchnews.com
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