Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The shoreline of False Creek has been redeveloping in chunks over the past couple of decades - often with big short-term events driving the pattern. Expo 87 on the north side and more recently, the 2010 Olympic Village on the southeast shore. The latter is where I spent a very gray hour on Saturday morning exploring an estuarine edge trying to balance between public use and environmental improvements ... both far better than an inaccessible private or industrial waterfront, but a tough combination to mesh sometimes.
Based on some historical maps and photos I've seen, and a fuzzy geomorphic sense of what this type of setting should look like, I suspect this low energy rocky coast is probably not the muddier, marshier fringe that once existed, but by intentionally complicating the texture and shape of the shoreline it can't help but be a dramatic improvement over what was here just a few years ago.
The habitat island is connected to the mainland by a pseudotombolo - not a very likely geomorphic feature for a sheltered bay like this one - but a landform that gives rise to a diversity of environments, particularly when combined with the new stream (is this False Creek?) that channels urban runoff through the park. The shoreline is largely shaped by riprap and armor rock, but lots of finer material has been added to enhance the quality and variety of habitats.