As part of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, substantial work has gone into identifying potential environmental impacts and mitigation methods to reduce the impact to the environment as a result of the Project. Our efforts include supporting the Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program, a Vancouver Fraser Port Authority led initiative aimed at better understanding and managing the impact of shipping activities on at-risk whales throughout the southern coast of British Columbia. The long term goal of the ECHO Program is to develop mitigation measures that will lead to a quantifiable reduction in potential threats to whales as a result of shipping activities.

“We’ve been operating in BC for more than 60 years and share the value British Columbians place on the envrionment and our coast,” said Michael Davies, Senior Director of Marine Development, Kinder Morgan Canada. “We’re committed to working openly and cooperatively with the marine community to address issues of common interest. The ECHO program is a great example of how industry can work together to look at issues that are bigger than any individual company or project.”

The ECHO Program will support a series of individual short-term projects, scientific studies and education initiatives. These will provide a better understanding of vessel-related cumulative regional threats, informing the development of mitigation solutions. Projects will focus on three categories: acoustic disturbance (underwater noise), physical disturbance (vessel collision) and environmental contaminants. Some of the projects currently underway include installation of an underwater listening station in the Strait of Georgia, regional monitoring of ambient underwater noise, preparation of a large whale vessel strike-risk assessment and development of a Mariner’s Guide to Whales for the North West Pacific.

You can learn more about the ECHO Program on the port authority’s website here.

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