North Fraser Harbour habitat bank

The North Fraser Port Authority created a habitat compensation banking system - operated since 1993 by the North Fraser Habour Commission in partnership with the DFO - to facilitate compensation for industrial, port, commercial, or recreational developments where on-site mitigation or compensation would be impractical or inadequate, and where off-site compensation would be considered acceptable. On October 15, 1993, the North Fraser Harbour Commission (NFHC) and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) laying out the procedure for operating the North Fraser Harbour Habitat Compensation Bank. This bank was a precedent setting component of an earlier agreement signed by the two parties in September 1988 (the North Fraser Harbour Environmental Management Plan) because it was the first habitat compensation bank to be approved by DFO in Canada. The MOU also established the conditions for determining habitat credits for the bank. The original MOU remained in effect for a five-year trial period, but has been extended indefinitely, conditional to the ongoing approval of both the NFHC and DFO. The North Fraser Harbour compensation bank was established to create sedge intertidal marsh for habitat banking purposes. Approximately 6,578 square yards of marsh credits were created. The cost of the credits has been set by the NFHC at $90/m2. A 2006 source notes "To date, one project involving the building of a bridge has used the bank. A major transportation development for the Vancouver area (Richmond-Airport-Vancouver: RAV) will also use the bank in the future." The habitat compensation bank was a component of a larger City of Vancouver project to redevelop former industrial waterfront lands into the Fraser Lands Riverfront Park. Project costs [totalling $389,697 (1992 Canadian dollars)] for the habitat bank were borne by the North Fraser Habour Commission (NFHC), with some contributory funds from the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. Construction of the marsh started in the summer of 1992, and transplanting was completed in March 1993. The marsh habitat banking component of the Fraser Lands Riverfront Park was complete as of 1995.

Bank Statistics

Date Established: 1993 Status: Active Bank Size: 0.5500 hectares
Country: Canada State/Province: British Columbia Other Location: Vancouver
Species/Habitat types:


Credits Awarded: 6,578 square yards of marsh cr Credits Sold:
Program in which the bank operates: No Associated Program
Bank Contact Information:
Bank Regulator Information:
Data Source:

Koster, personal communication, 2009. Fraser River Estuary Management webpage:

Last Updated: October 9, 2010