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Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping (SHIM)

SHIM for a stream

Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping, or SHIM, is an ecosystem-based mapping technique that focuses on the conservation and preservation of aquatic habitats and their riparian areas.

SHIM maps watercourses with a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit, and marks the location of notable features such as

  • culverts,
  • obstructions,
  • wetlands,
  • vegetation,
  • erosion points,
  • fish sightings, etc.

Benefits of SHIM

The benefits of SHIM include

  • identifying sensitive aquatic and terrestrial habitats,
  • locating watercourses and wetlands, and
  • gaining information on riparian habitat, riffle pool areas, erosion zones, water quality, fish presence and vegetation.

The SHIM GPS information can also be used to compare the mapped location of creeks against the true location, which is useful for inventory and tracking purposes.

Surrey's completed SHIM studies

To date, the City of Surrey has completed SHIM studies in the following watersheds:

  • Little Campbell River drainage catchment
  • Hyland Creek drainage catchment
  • Upper Serpentine River drainage catchment (upstream of 168 St)
  • Upper and Lower Bear Creek drainage catchment
  • Patullo drainage catchment
  • Latimer Creek / North Creek and the surrounding tributaries
  • Chantrell Creek / Elgin Creek / Anderson Creek / Barbara Creek

The data from these studies is available on COSMOS or by contacting the Engineering Deprtment, Environment Section at 604-592-6936.

For more information and examples of SHIM work, visit the Community Mapping Network.