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Protesters block Port Metro construction crews from removing logs
An anti-port expansion group moved to block construction crews at the base of 64th Street in Boundary Bay Monday morning in a largely symbolic protest against Port Metro Vancouver.
Members of Citizens Against Port Expansion (CAPE) and the Delta-Richmond Chapter of the Council of Canadians unfurled a banner reading, "Stop Port Expansion" in front of four orange caterpillars which had been removing logs from the salt marsh below the dike last week.
The Habitat Banking project is part of Port Metro Vancouver's environmental improvement to the salt mash, which project manager Gord Ruffo said requires the removal of the creosote driftwood logs in the area which are estimated to be between 30 and 50 years old.
But Cliff Caprani of CAPE says the logs provide vital foreshore habitat for raptors, including snowy owls which use the logs to perch and scan for food.
"They need these logs, which provide shelter for small mammals that are food for birds of prey," he said. "To replace all the logs with so-called raptor perches is a joke. There is nothing between the trail and the perches. Anyone can walk right up."
Port Metro crews created huge log piles along roughly 250 metres below the dike, and removal of the piles was expected to happen Monday morning. A few logs have been left as "snags" for raptor perches, but bird lovers say it isn't enough.
Caprani said the Port is undertaking the project in order to earn environmental credits with the province to use as mitigation for the damage that would be done with the Terminal 2 expansion in Deltaport, currently undergoing an environmental review.
Ruffo said last week that the project will earn environmental credits but that it has nothing to do with Terminal 2.
Protesters wrapped up their blockade around 9 a.m., leaving construction crews to return to their equipment.