Victoria and Esquimalt Harbours ecological inventory and rating. Phase 1: intertidal and backshore
Westland Resource Group
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Since European settlement in the mid-1800s, Victoria and Esquimalt Harbours have experienced extensive urban development. Nonetheless, today's harbours still contain important habitats for fish, birds and wildlife and are the centerpiece of the Greater Victoria urban area. The environmental, economic and social value of the harbours to the residents of the Capital Region and to visitors has grown in recent years, making the protection and restoration of harbour ecosystems increasingly important. In 1997, the Victoria and Esquimalt Harbours Environmental Action Program (VEHEAP) began the Victoria and Esquimalt Harbours Ecological Inventory and Rating (HEIR) project. The intent of the HEIR project was to systematically inventory the ecological features and to rate the ecological value of intertidal, backshore, and subtidal portions ofVictoria Harbour, the Gorge, Portage Inlet, Esquimalt Harbour and Esquimalt Lagoon. This report presents the results of Phase 1, which covers the intertidal and backshore portions of the harbours. Phase 2 of the HEIR will inventory and assess the subtidal portions of the harbours.