Weaponizing the Enemy

0.0/5
An unconventional solution for promoting stream health, salmon return, and contributing to the solution for the issue of invasive Himalayan blackberries in urban watersheds. A Green Archway utilizing bankside invasive blackberries would provide shade to Still Creek, provide leaf litter for invertebrates, and utilize a perceived issue to our advantage.

School:

SFU

Course:

Environmental Science Capstone (EVSC 400)

Instructors:

  • Anna Hippmann

City of Vancouver:

  • Chelsea Borsoi
  • Stina Hanson

Student Team:

  • Lauryn Do
  • Ollie Roberts
  • Rakin Hassan
  • Matt Zhang

Strategy:

  • Rupert Renfrew Area Plan

Term:

Spring 2023

Summary

Salmon hold significant cultural value to the local Salish Nations, are a valuable economic resource to British Columbia, and act as a keystone species, playing a vital role in maintaining the nitrogen cycle and vegetation growth. The preservation and enhancement of salmon spawning grounds are crucial to maintaining this resource.

This project tackles rehabilitating a small section of Still Creek (Natal Street to Skeena Street along Cornett Road), to promote the return of salmon. It is located in the highly urbanized industrial setting of the Grandview Boundary Industrial area, with vegetation consisting largely of Himalayan blackberry. While this site saw the return of spawning salmon in 2012 after 80 years, there has been no sighting of them since 2018.

The dominant factors hindering the return of salmon outside of natural variation include high water temperatures and poor water quality.

We propose a Green Archway made out of wire mesh to utilize the invasive Himalayan blackberry already present in the habitat to provide shade and thus regulate water temperatures in the absence of canopy coverage. Sectioning the archway acts as a compromise between providing shade for spawning, public visual access, and maintenance accessibility. A vertically tall (3 m) and horizontally short archway wire and blackberry canopy would block sunlight while providing a good visual field, reducing risk to public safety. Maintenance on this structure is predicted to be minimally demanding, requiring pruning of the bushes about once a year.

We propose restoring the stream to a natural curvature and expanding banks to allow for a decrease in water flow rate, crucial in times of high precipitation, reducing soil erosion and creating ideal habitats for salmon spawning and macroinvertebrates.

 

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