B.C. port project could have ‘adverse effects’ on birds headed to Alaska

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Western Sandpipers slurp up biofilm that appears critical for the birds to successfully  migrate to their Alaskan breeding grounds. Photo Credit: Tomohiro Kuwae

MARGARET MUNRO VANCOUVER — Special to The Globe and Mail Published Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 9:40PM EDT

A proposed port expansion south of Vancouver has the “potential for significant adverse effects” on migratory birds that stream north from South and Central America en route to their breeding grounds in Alaska, according to the federal environment department.

Western sandpipers, which touch down on the Fraser River delta in the spring to feed on energy-rich “biofilm” on the tidal mudflats, are most at risk and could suffer “species-level consequences,” says a submission from Environment and Climate Change Canada to the panel reviewing the $2-billion Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project for the Trudeau government.  …. more