Saving Beaver Lake in Vancouver, British Columbia

Beaver Lake, a popular focal point in Vancouver, British Columbia's famous Stanley Park, has been slowly filling in. Over the last decade, vegetation growth both native and invasive has accelerated and reduced the amount of open water. Home to a diverse ecological community, Beaver Lake provides a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to experience a natural freshwater lake in the heart of Canada's third largest city.

NHC was part of a team tasked with developing a restoration plan for the lake for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. Our primary role was to provide information on the lake's hydrology and sediment dynamics, as well as to comment on the practicality of various sediment removal options. We monitored streamflow below the lake outlet and evaluated the effects of beaver activity and municipal water inputs. We also conducted an extensive lake-bottom coring program to determine sediment infilling rates. A surprising outcome of the coring was that vegetation, particularly invasive water lilies, and not sediment inputs, is the primary reason for the infilling. The team used these findings to identify various lake restoration options that were presented at a public open house. The final report was unanimously accepted by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.

The project was recently featured on Global News and you can view the video here.