NHC has been working on innovative solutions to marsh recession at the Sturgeons Bank Marsh since approximately 2010. Early work phases focused on understanding the processes across the estuary and the distribution of sediments throughout the marsh.

The Sturgeon Banks Sediment Enhancement Pilot Project by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is trialing a concept to address the historic sediment imbalance at Sturgeon Banks. In 2021, NHC was retained to lead a team of consultants to support the permitting, construction and monitoring of the project over a period of three years. The work included:

  • Creation of tender drawings andspecifications
  • Supporting DUC throughregulatory processes
  • Leading contractor engagement
  • Identifying and reviewing sourcesof sediment
  • Construction support
  • Monitoring review
  • Participation in stakeholder engagement sessions

The first year of sediment addition was completed in February of 2023 and there were significant lessons learned for both the project team and for nature based projects across the Pacific Coast. A major learning under review by the project team is the challenge of lining up availability of source sediments (dredgeate) with opportunities of beneficial re-use placements. These depend on coincident availability of both dredging and placement equipment to maintain efficiency.

Over the next year, the project team will oversee another round of sediment addition and continue to report on the challenges and benefits of this innovative approach.