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Westham Island
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Westham Island

Westham Island is located in Delta, British Columbia twenty miles from the Canada/US border on Highway 99 and six miles west of the Village of Ladner. It has been said that it is strictly for the birds. Strawberry farmers, in fact, complain that the birds eat their crops and cause a lot of destructions with their droppings. However, George C. Reifel believed that the birds needed a protected area and thus a bird sanctuary was developed. Children especially love it, because the birds eat right out of their hands. It's a great place for a family outing.

Waterfowl flocked to the Fraser River estuary long before the marshland was reserved as a bird retreat. The official reserve was established by Barry Leach, a college professor, and Fred Auger, a newspaper publisher, in 1961. The two men approached George H. Reifel (at the time, owner of most of the tiny Westham Island) who agreed to lease the land next to the crown tidal flats for a dollar a year. Eventually Reifel gifted a large portion of his family property to the Canadian Government on the condition that the land remains in his father's name and remains a bird sanctuary


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