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06.01.16 / Environment

Improving fish habitat, protecting hummingbird nests: all in a day’s work

When you have a former fish habitat biologist working on your natural gas line upgrade project, you can expect good news for local trout and salmon.

Trevor Welton, a business leader at the Burnaby-based environmental consulting company Hemmera, is working on our Surrey to Coquitlam Upgrade project. With his past experience at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, he’s helping us protect coho salmon and cutthroat trout during construction. He’s also designed plans to improve fish habitat in Quibble Creek near our valve station in Surrey after project completion.

When we’re able to go beyond restoration to enhancement, that’s a really positive outcome.

Trevor Welton Hemmera environmental consultant

Caroline Astley, a biologist and Hemmera project manager, appreciates working on this natural gas gas line upgrade because it’s close to home.

“It’s rare for us to work on projects of this scope in our backyard, and it’s really rewarding to take part in work that affects your local community.”

Our internal environment team at FortisBC is responsible for ensuring all the potential environmental issues of our projects are known and managed. They hire external consultants like Hemmera to do field assessments and provide objective expertise.

Hemmera’s team has been carefully clearing the way for archaeological surveys to preserve any cultural artifacts that could be exposed during construction. They also provided essential wildlife protection services.

“When the preliminary archaeological assessment was happening, this was during a bird breeding window,” Caroline said. “So we had to ensure there was no impact to the birds or their nests. There were an amazing number of hummingbirds there… it was really incredible.”

Trevor has much to say about the benefits of the work they do: “We got into this business because we’re passionate about the environment, the fish and wildlife,” he said. “And we’re able to help companies like FortisBC, supporting them to do the work they need to do, in a way that protects the environment. It’s a very rewarding career.”

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