Delta is located at the heart of the Fraser River estuary ecosystem which includes the Fraser River, Roberts Bank and Boundary Bay. The Fraser River estuary is the most Important Bird Area in Canada.
Watercourses are protected by city plans and bylaws, as well as provincial and federal regulations. Planning to build near a stream, river or ocean? Review Delta's Environmental Permits for information on permit requirements.
Find information on Delta’s watercourse classification system for fish and amphibian presence.
Streams & Creeks
Delta is home to several streams and creeks that flow into the Fraser River and Boundary Bay. They are in plain sight in parks, ravines, or along the roadside as ditches. They can also be hidden from sight underground in storm mains and culverts.
In North Delta Cougar Creek, the Northeast Interceptor Canal, Blake Creek, Briarwood Creek, Shaw Creek, Watershed Creek, Sunbury Creek, McAdams Creek, Norum Ravine, Collings Ravine and Gunderson Creek have year round salmon rearing and spawning habitat.
Lowland Watercourses & Ditches
Lowland watercourses and ditches make up a large part of Delta’s drainage and irrigation system. Delta uses this system during the summer to move fresh water from the Fraser River throughout Delta to agricultural producers for irrigation. During the winter months, pump stations are opened and these channels help move rainwater out of the area to prevent flooding. The channels provide habitat for a variety of wildlife and are maintained by Delta on a rotational schedule.
Who's in Your Ditch?
Delta’s lowland watercourses, commonly referred to as ditches, have a variety of wildlife, amphibians and fish living in them. Some of the wildlife that can be found using or living in these ditches are northwestern salamanders, brassy minnows, red sided shiners, three-sided stickleback, great blue herons, ducks, frogs, and salmon in certain areas.
The Fraser River estuary and its adjacent lands have global significance for various species of birds and salmon, and regional significance for wildlife biodiversity. The Fraser River is considered the most important salmon spawning river in the world. Its estuary provides valuable habitat for herring, shellfish and a variety of other aquatic species.
Delta's extensive foreshore provides recreational and aesthetic opportunities that are an integral part of our community identity. Boundary Bay, Roberts Bank and the Ladner Marsh are provincial Wildlife Management Areas and are home to a variety of wildlife.
Boundary Bay and its adjacent uplands represent the most significant migratory waterfowl and shorebird habitat on Canada's Pacific Coast. The bay stretches to Surrey, White Rock and down through the United States. It has a variety of habitats including mudflats, eel grass beds, salt marshes, sand dunes, grasslands and sandy shorelines. The bay supports a number of invertebrates and microorganisms that are an important source of energy for migrating shorebirds. Boundary Bay and its foreshore are used for recreation by boaters, kite surfers, beach goers, hunters, bird watchers, etc., and there is a commercial crab fishery in the bay.
For information on bathing beaches and water quality, visit Fraser Health.
Boundary Bay can be accessed from Delta through Metro Vancouver's Boundary Bay Regional Park, which includes the dyke along Boundary Bay.