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Biodiversity Conservation Strategy ensures preservation of Surrey's natural spaces and ecosystems

Looking over Surrey Lake at Surrey Lake Park.

July 22, 2014

The City of Surrey’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, endorsed by Council at last night’s meeting, recognizes the City’s biodiversity as a key foundation of a healthy, livable and sustainable community. Natural green spaces provide many benefits, such as clean air and water, to a rapidly growing city like Surrey.

“Preserving and restoring habitat is essential to the overall health and livability of our City,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “The Biodiversity Conservation Strategy will ensure both a short and long-term vision on how best to preserve natural areas while meeting the needs of our growing City.”

The report identifies approximately 10,200 acres (4,130 hectares) of land are required to be preserved in its natural state within the City’s Green Infrastructure Network (GIN) to maintain Surrey’s biodiversity. About 70% of the lands identified are under public control, leaving approximately 3,100 acres needing to be conserved. Some of these areas may need public investment in order to ensure their preservation. The Biodiversity Conservation Strategy calls for the creation of two new processes to bring the remaining areas within the Green Infrastructure Network.

  • Development Permit Areas will recognise the value of the GIN and will require landowners seeking to develop work within the City so that they develop their lands in a sustainable manner that protects and enhances biodiversity.
  • The introduction of a Riparian Area By-law which would protect fish, forests, and wildlife passage. This Surrey specific by-law would effectively manage riparian areas for tree hazards, storm water control and other key civic functions.

“Surrey is noted as much for its livable urban areas as it is for the vast tracts of green spaces in their natural state,” says Environmental Advisory Committee Chair Cllr Bruce Hayne. “This new strategy will offer a clear roadmap in not only preserving Surrey’s natural environment but it will also strengthen the powers available to the City in making sure the long term vision of the plan will be met.”

The Surrey Biodiversity Conservation Strategy is a comprehensive and detailed plan that takes into account land use planning and financial objectives. For more information, read the full report

For program information:
Stephen Godwin  
Environmental Coordinator
City of Surrey
604.591.4691

Markus Kischnick
Community Planner
City of Surrey
604.591.4485

For media inquiries:
Oliver Lum
Communications Manager
Office of the Mayor, City of Surrey
604.591.4519