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Living dike coming to Delta

The alternative foreshore flood protection approach to be built in Boundary Bay
delta living dike project
Delta staff will be involved during construction and monitoring the performance of the living dike.

A living dike will be established in Delta.

In the planning process for a couple of years, Delta's Living Dike Pilot Project, also known as the Boundary Bay Foreshore Enhancement Project, will be an alternate form of foreshore flood protection.

It’s to develop and test a method of supplying sediment and vegetation on the foreshore to help existing salt marsh habitats increase in elevation and keep up with sea level rise, known as a living dike. 

A report to Delta council explains the salt marsh can absorb wave energy reducing the overall wave height that will assist in reducing the dike design elevation and possibly lengthen the timelines for dike raising activities.

The pilot project involves designing and constructing a 250-linear-metre section of raised salt marsh in the foreshore along Boundary Bay near 96 Street. 

The report also notes the pilot project is intended through experimental design to develop and inform future designs of larger living dike projects in Boundary Bay.

A coalition led by the City of Surrey with West Coast Environmental Law, Semiahmoo First Nation and the City of Delta received $76 million in funding from Infrastructure Canada's Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund for 13 projects, one of which is Delta's Living Dike Pilot Project.

The project received $750,000.

Delta is using a previously obtained grant to contribute an equal amount toward the project.

The pilot project is in the late stages of design and applications for the necessary regulatory permits are being prepared.

Council last week agreed that Delta should proceed with signing a memorandum of understanding with Surrey and the provincial government to advance the project.