In a recent chat at work, my boss recalled his childhood days of hiking in the forest and adjacent marshes. Over a few years, he saw his backyard marsh dwindle as people cleared the land for urban development. The water drained from the marshes was enough to create a pool of water that froze into a natural ice hockey rink. The remainder of the drained marshes were then re-filled to redevelop the seemingly ideal, open and flat land.
Over the last few centuries, lots of salt marshes were lost to urban development. In Canada’s Pacific, 70% of salt marshes were destroyed by pollution or turned into agricultural land, roads, and residential areas, according to Capital Regional District. If you have ever been to Victoria, imagine that there used to be a marsh in the vicinity of the Empress hotel, or near Point Hope Shipyards.