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"For the first time this week I saw seals swimming through the gap" | Project update

There is now about an 80m gap between the new wind sport island and the end of the remaining training berm. For the first time this week I saw seals swimming through the gap, back and forth from the river side to the estuary. My friendly great blue Heron that seems to always be close by whenever I am down there, flew over from the east side of the estuary in the darkness and rested on the island’s new revetment across the gap from us…keeping a watchful eye.

John Readshaw is one of the foremost coastal engineers in Canada. He brings a wealth of knowledge and an infectious enthusiasm about the restoration project and what we will learn from the changes to the river system and estuary. This week, Readshaw came up for an evening to observe current movement as the tide ebbed.

At this time of year, the lower tides usually occur in the dead of night. There is often only a meter or two differential during the daytime tides but nighttime low tides can be much more dramatic. On Wednesday, Feb 16 when John and I observed that the 6:42am high tide was at 4.5 metres, the 11:57am low tide was at 3.3m, the 4:45pm high tide was at 4.2 metres and the 11:45pm low tide was at a meter. As a result of these nighttime low tides, the excavation work to remove material from the berm often happens in the middle of the night.

Although there are a few “useful” daytime low tides in the next month, we won’t see significantly low tides during the day until later in March. Then we will be able to clearly see the intertidal flats.

So far there is no evidence of Herring spawn on the berm. We are all keeping a close eye to make sure that the natural process is not disrupted.

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