As seen in the history of Hamilton Harbour
, human settlement can impact wildlife habitats through land development and/or resource extraction. These developments can also alter hydrology through diversion and dredging. When developing land the surrounding ecological impacts should be top of mind, especially in relation to achieving the goals of the Remedial Action Plan
The current development underway in Hamilton’s West Harbour represents a valuable opportunity to pursue remediation while simultaneously improving the built-environment. Outlined in the City of Hamilton’s "Setting Sail"
plan for West Harbour development, promoting a healthy harbour is a top priority. This commitment to a “swimmable” harbour with rich aquatic and terrestrial habitats requires a comprehensive plan, which the City outlines as:
1. Implementing best practice techniques for stormwater management in order to minimize the reliance on the existing combined sewer system;
2. Encouraging water conservation;
3. Maintaining and/or enhancing existing aquatic and shoreline habitats;
4. Removing, replacing, or sealing potentially harmful sub-surface materials;
5. Identifying and protecting key views and improve public access to the harbour
6. Increasing the public’s understanding and appreciation of the harbour and its watershed from an ecological perspective.
You can read BARC's position statement on West Harbour redevelopment here