A glass sponge reef was discovered two years ago during exploration for an LNG pipeline.

Reef discovery goes unnoticed

A rare prehistoric glass sponge reef was discovered in Chatham Sound two years ago and only now environmental groups are taking notice

A rare prehistoric glass sponge reef estimated to be nearly the same length as the stretch of highway between Prince Rupert to Port Edward was discovered in Chatham Sound two years ago and only now environmental groups are taking notice.

With all the proposed liquefied natural gas projects and research conducted for the environmental assessment reviews this was one discovery that went unnoticed — until now.

The information was available to the public after Spectra Energy submitted its application for the Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission Project in April 2014. The project plans to build an 850-kilometre pipeline that will deliver natural gas from northeastern B.C. to the proposed BG Canada LNG terminal on Ridley Island.

“You can imagine in more than 9,000 pages in the application there’s going to be a lot of scientific information of interest to various groups for various purposes beyond what we do,” said Rosemary Silva, external relations manager of Spectra Energy’s Canadian LNG business.

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is one of them. The non-profit environmental group has been trying to get the glass sponge reefs protected in B.C. for at least 15 years. Much of the group’s focus has been on the Hecate Strait and Georgia Strait reefs. In 1987, four reefs in Hecate Strait were discovered and some of the reefs were determined to be more than 9,000 years old. These reefs are a living example of the reefs that existed during the Jurassic Period and they provide a sanctuary, habitat and nursery grounds for aquatic species.

The largest glass sponge reef in Hecate Strait covers an area of 35 kilometres long, 15 kilometres wide and 25 metres tall. The reef found in Chatham Sound extends to about 12 kilometres long and three kilometres wide as stated in Westcoast Connector’s research.

The information was presented to people from different levels of government and First Nations who participated in the proponent’s working group.

“Some of the information and some of the video footage has been provided previously to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada throughout our consultations with them,” Silva said.

Spectra Energy is creating a 200 metre or greater buffer between the pipeline’s proposed route and the glass sponge reefs.

The proponent is also working on a technical review with government and non-governmental experts in the environmental community to help with further studies on the glass sponge reef. This study may also reveal the actual size of the reef, and what measures need to be done to protect the complex species.

 

Just Posted

Heart of Our City – One good deed

Peggy Fergusson helped a senior Rupertite regain her footing

Rupert rugby player shines for Barbarians

Hannah Scherr started playing rugby in the youth program in Prince Rupert

Northern First Nations partnership reshaping government’s approach to reconciliation

Kaska, Tahltan and Tlingit First Nations share Premier’s Award for Innovation with ministry

Prince Rupert Rampage to start a brief road trip

The Prince Rupert Rampage head out east on a road trip to Williams Lake and Quesnel.

Shames Mountain keeps bunny hill free

Co-op wants to make the sport more accessible for beginners

This Week – Episode 111

Selena Horne, Charles Hays high school musical star, co-hosts the Northern View’s weekly show

Delivering the paper as a family

The Northern View is looking for newspaper carriers in Prince Rupert, join our team today

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Trudeau says he won’t negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA

Legislators urged Trump not to sign the agreement unless the language was removed.

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

Most Read