The Brokenhead Wetland Ecological Reserve, a marshy, 1,240-hectare limestone fen 70 km north of Winnipeg, Manitoba is home to 28 species of native orchids and 23 species of provincially rare plants. The ecological reserve’s partners, Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, and Debwendon Inc., selected Seaco Marine to design and build a boardwalk that would allow the public to safely visit the wetland without causing damage to the native plants and their habitats.
Seaco Marine floating dock technology was a perfect fit for this environmentally sensitive project. The Versa Floats used in the project usually hold docks above the waters surface but in this case the floats hold the walkway well above the sensitive land based habitat. The boardwalk consists of over 250 trail and viewing deck sections that have been manufactured from kiln-dried British Columbia cedar secured with galvanized steel hardware. The wood offers superior stability and is in keeping with the cedar forest through which the interpretive trail meanders.
Most of the dock sections are six feet wide by 16 feet long connected to key viewing decks along the way, which include benches, are comprised of 12 foot by 32 foot sections, hexagon transitions and a 24 foot octagon at the trail’s end. The delivery and installation challenge for Seaco Marine was to transport them all to the trailhead and then safely convey them along the eight-foot wide trail with the least amount of impact on the environment. A specially designed snowmobile trailer that towed the sections into place during a cold stretch in the winter of 2017 accomplished this task.
Using Seaco’s dock building technology to help protect a delicate wetland while also opening it up to the public is a solution that can be applied to many other environmentally sensitive areas. Docks are important to families with cottages and communities with marinas and Seaco Marine has proven that they’re beneficial to projects beyond the shoreline.