The lowland is formed from both glacial and alluvial deposits laid down more than 10 000 years ago as a delta at the mouth of a much larger postglacial Fraser River. Following postglacial uplift of the land and erosion into the deposits by the modern FRASER R, the older delta deposits are now about 100 m above sea level. Lower-level lowlands, almost at sea level, are the result of recent alluvial deposition along the floodplain of present Fraser River channels and are protected from flooding by dikes. Dairy farming is typical on the alluvial soils of the lowest areas; the poorer soils of the postglacial, raised delta are used for small fruits, berries, poultry farming and forests.
Known locally as the Lower Fraser Valley or the Lower Mainland, the lowland holds more than half of the population of BC, including on its northwest edge the city of VANCOUVER. Much of the western section of the delta-lowland has been occupied by the outward spread of residential, commercial and industrial land uses of Metropolitan Vancouver; in other parts of the lowland, agricultural land is protected from urban encroachment by zoning regulations. Indians occupied fishing sites near the mouth of the Fraser for a few thousand years before the establishment of FORT LANGLEY in 1827. Agricultural settlement came after the Fraser (1858) and Cariboo (1862) GOLD RUSHES, but the full agricultural use of the lower lands with better soils had to await improvements in drainage and diking early in the 20th century.
Author J. LEWIS ROBINSON
Links to Other Sites
The Colonial Despatches
View digitized copies of correspondence (dated 1846 - 1859) between the British Colonial Office and the "colonies" of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. Search or browse this site for references to specific individuals, communities, companies, or industries in the province. Also includes digitized images of maps of various locations. From the website for the University of Victoria.
The Edge of the World: BC's Early Years
Watch a series of short films about the events, people, and places that shaped British Columbia's early history. Features a wealth of archival photographs. From knowledge.ca.
Chilliwack Museum and Archives
The website for the Chilliwack Museum and Archives. Click on "History" for an illustrated history of the region.
Early Days of Fraser River Transportation
Relive the early days of Fraser River transportation in this Samson V Maritime Museum website. Features stories and photos of the steamships that provided a vital transportation link between communities during the 19th century.
The Heritage Resources of Maple Ridge
A great online resource about heritage sites in the District of Maple Ridge. Features a historical timeline, maps, a searchable database of old photographs, and a glossary of architectural terms. Also provides a history of the Katzie people and early European settlers.
Fraser Basin Council
The website for the Fraser Basin Council, an organization concerned with economic, social and environmental issues in the lower Fraser River region.
Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network
The website for the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, a conservation program that aims to protect key shorebird habitats in the Americas. Click on the links for profiles of specific sites throughout Canada.