The PMH1 Project includes important environmental and habitat work on‐and off‐corridor to deliver the project to the highest environmental standards. This work has four main components:
- Enhancement – environmental improvements to enhance habitat value, usually by making habitat larger than it was before, as well as improving an area’s long‐term function.
- Compensation – create new habitat to compensate for unavoidable adverse effects of the project, to ensure no net loss of productive fish habitat as a result of the project.
- Construction timing – schedule work to avoid conflict with environmentally sensitive periods such as bird nesting, and fish migration and spawning.
- Protection/restoration – protect areas under active construction with activities such as slope stabilization, and restore areas following construction through activities including re‐vegetation, rock walls and rock blankets.
All work is done in accordance with environmental requirements, including measures to protect fish, wildlife and their habitat. Fish and wildlife habitat work for the PMH1 Project is being carried out on a larger scale than any previous environmental projects undertaken by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in British Columbia. Environmental work started in 2009 and will continue for approximately three years. This includes:
- Fish habitat improvements at sites including Brunette River (upper and south), Burnaby Lakes, Cedar Creek, Deer Lake Brook, Como Creek Tributary, Popeye Creek and Wilson Farm;
- Wildlife habitat enhancements including improved riparian areas; for example, planting vegetation and placing large woody debris designed to attract wildlife for nesting and perching; and
- Improvements to fish and wildlife passage, such as specially designed culverts under roadways to facilitate fish and wildlife movements, and allow better connections between habitats.
Typically, all habitat projects include design, preconstruction preparation (such as habitat protection and fish and wildlife salvage), habitat construction, planting, monitoring and adaptive management.