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Leather star Dermasterias imbricata Sea Hair Enteromorpha sp. Sea Lemon Archidoris montereyensis

Purple sea star Pisaster ochraceus


Prince Rupert

Nine Prince Rupert beach sites were studies in August in 1992, 1993, and in July in 2004.

Changes In Prince Rupert Sites Over a Decade

Effluent quality at Prince Rupert has improved over the past decade. (See Figure 1.) Species richness at Prince Rupert sites over the same time period have also increased. (See Figure 2.)

Prince Rupert effluent Quality

Figure 1: Annual average effluent quality for Skeena Cellulose Inc., Prince Rupert (BOD=Biochemical Oxygen Demand, TSS=Total Suspended Solids, AOX = Adsorbable Organic Halides). Data kindly provided by Environment Canada, Pacific and Yukon Region, Environmental Protection Branch and Hatfield Consultants Ltd., 2004.

Prince Rupert intertidal species richness

Figure 2: Prince Rupert intertidal species richness. Mean species richness was significantly greater in 2004 compared to 1992-1993 in Prince Rupert Z(9) = 2.67, p<0.01. (Bard, Shannon, De Raedemaecker, Fien and Willems, Wouter. (2005 Submitted) "A Decade Later: Intertidal diversity is increased as pulp mill pollution is decreased." Water Environmental Research Journal.)

Prince Rupert Mill

Skeena Cellulose Inc. pulp mill, located on Watson Island ( Prince Rupert ), has been closed since June 2001 due to poor economic conditions. T he mill is expected to be operational again by the beginning of November 2004 (Patrick O'Brien, Hatfield Consultant, pers. comm., 2004). The original pulp mill was built in 1951 as a sulphite mill and was converted in 1976 to a kraft mill process. Initially, effluent discharged into Wainwright Basin but the diffuser was shifted to Porpoise Harbour in 1978. In the late 1970s, the Canadian government increased pressure to improve the quality of effluent which resulted in the instalment of a final effluent clarifier. Since 1991, primary and secondary treatment facilities have been in operation to reduce effluent and atmospheric emissions. All effluent is discharged since mid-1993 via the multi-port submarine diffuser, approximately 20m deep, to ensure a more efficient dispersion of mill effluent (Hatfield Consultants Ltd., 1994b).

This text is an excerpt from Fien de Raedemaecker's 2004 master's thesis, "A GIS-approach to compare intertidal diversity and contaminant loading in the marine recieving environment of two pulp mills in British Columbia, Canada." Click here for the entire document and to view sources.

Leather star Dermasterias imbricata Sea Hair Enteromorpha sp. Sea Lemon Archidoris montereyensis

Purple sea star Pisaster ochraceus

All images ©2004 Shannon Bard. Use of images is prohibited without permission.