Habitat Restoration and Creation
Our key people have worked collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams to develop ecological restoration plans for numerous degraded systems across Ontario. These projects normally involve field work to characterize the existing environment, and to determine a realistic restoration objective. We work with engineers to develop concepts, functional designs, and construction-ready designs. We further work with contractors and agencies to ensure that construction practices respect the required mitigations, to minimize impacts to the environment.
Habitat Banking is the creation or enhancement of natural environment habitats prior to causing losses of habitat through development (e.g., urban area expansion). The new or enhanced habitat is the “bank” that is drawn against for losses incurred through other developments.
The legal notion of habitat banking is being explored by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, now, and it may become a regulatory tool that industry (and government) can use to compensate for losses to natural habitat in an expedient way. In the absence of formal regulatory tools, habitat banking is already implemented in various and less-formal ways in Canada.
Kilgour & Associates Ltd. has been fortunate to be involved in various projects that have involved some form of banking, with two of those described briefly below.
Carp River Restoration
The Carp River restoration project involves the realignment of 5 km of the Carp River, a major tributary to the Ottawa River that runs through the west of Ottawa in Kanata. The restoration involves creating a meandering channel, a change from the channel that was straightened over 50 years ago. The project works are compensation for various roads and other infrastructure that are anticipated to impact on the river in the next 20 years. The physical stream realignment works are commencing in 2013. Kilgour & Associates are involved in the federal permitting for the project, in addition to species at risk inventories.
Peterborough Airport Runway
The runway at the Peterborough Airport was expanded in 2011. Part of that expansion required the realignment of a creek and construction in a wetland environment. The creek realignment was carried out in a way that was self compensating. The airport, however, provided additional offsite compensation through a donation to the local conservation agency. The funding was to be put to use restoring various watercourses through bank stabilization and riparian planting activities. The donation allowed the runway project to proceed within a few months, and also ensured that locally valued restoration projects could also proceed.