Squamish Oceanfront Development Corporation
The District of Squamish enjoys kilometres of ocean frontage, much of which is former industrial land, with possible contamination issues. When the District created the Squamish Oceanfront Development Corporation to plan the development of the lands for parkland and commercial use, they approached Hemmera to manage the complex environmental assessments.
Our extensive experience in Brownfields assessment and remediation has proven vital to the redevelopment of this significant, post-industrial land area, which includes approximately 19 acres of parks and open space and 17 acres dedicated to employment space.
The first phase of the project is the proposed waterfront park, located on previously-developed land and foreshore in the Squamish River estuary. Our environmental management services include an Environmental Assessment (to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act), and the assessment of the project’s potential environmental impacts. We will then develop measures to avoid and/or minimize these impacts.
The Hemmera team is focused on protecting and enhancing valuable habitat features and functions along the peninsula. We will introduce new habitat areas into the re-configured shoreline, specifically designed to support the estuary’s marine flora and fauna.
One of the former industrial buildings, the “Blue Barn”, has been identified as a potential centre for the local arts and culture centre, which will bring new employment opportunities. The building is currently unsafe, having been used as a treatment facility for mercury-contaminated water. To facilitate the project, Hemmera assisted in a successful funding application under the BC Brownfield Renewal Funding Program, for financing to decontaminate the affected water tanks, equipment and piping, and investigate the surrounding soil and groundwater. Future plans are to replace the Blue Barn space with a permanent arts workshop and a performance art venue.
The creation of the waterfront park, and the development of the arts space, will bring new life to this part of the Squamish oceanfront. It will create a hub of activity and prosperity, which will in turn spur the redevelopment of the surrounding Brownfield lands.