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Student-led Habitat Restoration Enhances one of Canada’s Top Bird-watching Sites

Three students in work gear standing and smiling in a forest

August 11, 2016

For immediate release: August 11, 2016

Surrey, BC – On July 22, the City of Surrey’s Salmon Habitat Restoration Program (SHaRP) and Surrey’s Natural Areas Partnership (SNAP) joined forces to enhance Blackie Spit Park. Both organizations consist of youth dedicated to protecting and enhancing Surrey’s diverse natural habitats. Blackie Spit Park, near Crescent Beach, is a haven for birds and is one of the best bird-watching sites in Canada. Over 200 species of birds have been recorded to pass through Blackie Spit during the year. The area is surrounded by tidal marsh and eelgrass beds, which are vital for migrating birds that fly along the Pacific Flyway.

Over 15 students from SNAP and SHaRP removed invasive plants, including common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), which can out-compete native vegetation and reduce the diversity of food and habitat available to wildlife. Students also spoke to park users about ongoing environmental stewardship projects at Blackie Spit.

“Both SNAP and SHaRP provide excellent career building opportunities for students,” says SNAP Program Coordinator Nathan Ross. “They also provide many benefits to Surrey residents through the protection and enhancement of natural and riparian areas.”

SHaRP Crew Member Miggy Ferrera said he joined SHaRP to give back to the community as well as do his part for Surrey’s environment. “It’s really great to be out here with the SNAP team helping to improve Blackie Spit Park—our work is really rewarding.”

SNAP and SHaRP employ post-secondary and high school students through the summer months. SNAP focuses on restoring and enhancing natural areas in parks, while SHaRP focuses on aquatic areas and enhancing salmon habitats. Both programs are part of the City of Surrey’s Nature Matters initiative.


Image (L–R): Nick Mann, Jackson Simmons, Gabe Dubé

For more information, please contact:

Crystal Tseng
SHaRP Media and Public Relations
778 846 1611

Nathan Ross
SNAP Program Coordinator
778 991 9225