Although not technically a form of local government, port authorities have many similar regulatory funtions over foreshore, marine, estuarine and large river habitats within their areas of jurisdiction.
Port authorities are created by the federal government, which is constitutionally responsible for navigation and shipping. The majority of each port authority's board of directors is appointed by the federal government, with addition representatives appointed by neighbouring municipalities and regional districts.
Tools for protection of species at risk include:
- Regulation of marine traffic: Port authorities may restrict or divert boat traffic for the purposes of protecting the environment or specific animals.
- Land acquisition: Port authorities sometimes acquire ecologically sensitive lands in trades for development rights in other areas. Species at risk habitats should be targeted in these transactions.
- Pollution prevention: Port authorities can establish and enforce practices and procedures for ships in port. Typically this includes protocols that prevent sewage or fuel releases.
- Prevention of non-native species introductions: Port authorities also enforce protocols for exchanging ballast water taken on in foreign ports, which is believed to be the single largest source of aquatic species introductions in Canada. Transport Canada guidelines are generally used as policy.
Port Authorities of British Columbia