Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
While the term has been recorded from the earliest period of European settlement in British Columbia, it has never been officially defined in legal terms. However, it is the name of an ecoregion—a geoclimatic region that comprises the eastern part of the Georgia Depression and extends from Powell River, British Columbia on the Sunshine Coast to Hope, British Columbia at the eastern end of the Fraser Valley. The Lower Mainland Ecoregion is a part of the Pacific Maritime Ecozone 
Regional Districts and First Nations territories
Today, the term Lower Mainland includes four legally-defined regional districts: The Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD), the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD), the Powell River Regional District and the Sunshine Coast Regional District. It also includes a number of reserves and traditional territories of the Shishalh (Sechelt), the Sto:lo and several other Coast Salish First Nations.
The Greater Vancouver Regional District is made up of 21 municipalities: Anmore, Belcarra, Bowen Island, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley City, Langley Township, Lions Bay, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver City, North Vancouver District, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and White Rock. The Greater Vancouver Regional District is bordered on the west by the Strait of Georgia, to the north by the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, on the east by the Fraser Valley Regional District, and to the south by Whatcom County, Washington in the United States. The traditional territories of the Musqueam and Tsleil'wauthuth lie within the GVRD.
The Fraser Valley Regional District is comprised of the municipalities of Abbotsford, Agassiz , Chilliwack, Hope and Mission British Columbia. The traditional territory of the Sto:lo First Nation is mostly within this regional district.
The Sunshine Coast Regional District extends from Jervis Inlet to Howe Sound and includes the communities of Gibsons and Sechelt . The Regional District of Powell River is bounded by Jervis Inlet in the south and Toba Inlet in the north. The area encompasses several rural communities, the Sliammon First Nation, a small section of the Sechelt Indian Government District lands, the municipality of Powell River and Lasqueti, Texada, Savary and Hernando Islands.
The Lower Mainland Ecoregion is bounded by the Coast and Cascade Mountains and traversed by the Fraser River. It has a unique climate, flora and fauna, geology and land use. It is described in the following exerpts from the Narrative Descriptions of Terrestrial Ecozones and Ecoregions of Canada:
- This ecoregion extends westward from the foothills of the Cascade [Mountains] at Chilliwack to the Fraser River delta at Richmond and northward to include the narrow Georgia Lowland along the Sunshine Coast.
- The mean annual temperature for the area is approximately 9°C with a summer mean of 15°C and a winter mean of 3.5°C. Mean annual precipitation ranges from 850 mm in the west end up to 2000 mm in the eastern end of the Fraser River valley and higher elevations. Maximum precipitation occurs in winter as rain; less than 10% falls as snow at sea level but this proportion increases significantly with elevation.
Flora and fauna
- Mature native vegetation is characterized by forests of Douglas-fir with an understory of salal, Oregon grape, and moss. Mixed stands of Douglas-fir and western hemlock with some dogwood and arbutus are common on drier sites. Red alder is common where sites have been disturbed. Wet sites support Douglas-fir, western hemlock, and western red cedar... Wildlife includes black-tailed deer, coyote, raccoon, shorebirds, and waterfowl.
- The ecoregion is underlain by unconsolidated glaciofluvial deposits, silty alluvium, silty and clayey marine sediments, and glacial till. Bedrock outcrops of Mesozoic and Palaeozoic origin form rolling hills up to about 310 m asl. The Fraser River dominates this lowland. Gleysols, Mesisols, and Humisols are the dominant wetland soils in the region, while Eutric and Dystric Brunisols and some Podzols have developed on sandy to loamy outwash and glacial till in the uplands.
- This is an urban/agricultural region, containing the largest population centre in British Columbia. Intensive agriculture occurs on the valley bottoms of the Fraser River valley where it competes with urban development. Forestry operations occur on higher slopes along the mountains. There are about 87 000 ha of highly productive farmland in the ecoregion. Coastal salt marshes are important wildlife habitat on the Fraser River delta and adjacent Boundary Bay. Urban and suburban development continues in the Vancouver area and is scattered amongst many communities in the Fraser River valley and Sunshine Coast. The main population centre in this ecoregion is greater Vancouver, accompanied by North Vancouver, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, and Mission...
- --Narrative Descriptions of Terrestrial Ecozones and Ecoregions of Canada, Environment Canada. 
According to the 2001 Canada Census there were 2,255,845 persons living in the communities of the Lower Mainland. This is comprised of:
- 222,115 in the Fraser Valley Regional District,
- 1,986,965 in the Greater Vancouver Regional District,
- 19,765 in the Powell River Regional District, and
- 27,000 in the Sunshine Coast Regional District.
The population in the Greater Vancouver Regional District is up 8.5% from the 1996 Census figures. For the population of the cities within the GVRD, see Greater Vancouver Regional District#Municipalities
Government websites for the Lower Mainland
Fraser Valley Regional District: http://www.fvrd.com/index.php
- Abbotsford: http://www.city.abbotsford.bc.ca/
- Chilliwack: http://www.gov.chilliwack.bc.ca/main/
- Mission: http://www.city.mission.bc.ca/welcome.htm
Greater Vancouver Regional District: http://www.gvrd.bc.ca
- Anmore: http://www.anmore.com
- Belcarra): http://www.belcarra.ca
- Bowen Island: http://www.bowen-island-bc.com
- Burnaby: http://www.city.burnaby.bc.ca
- Coquitlam: http://www.coquitlam.ca
- Delta: http://www.corp.delta.bc.ca
- Langley City: http://www.city.langley.bc.ca
- Langley Township: http://www.township.langley.bc.ca
- Lions Bay: http://www.lionsbay.citymax.com
- Maple Ridge: http://district.maple-ridge.bc.ca
- New Westminster: http://www.city.new-westminster.bc.ca
- North Vancouver City: http://www.cnv.org
- North Vancouver District: http://www.district.north-van.bc.ca
- Pitt Meadows: http://www.pittmeadows.bc.ca
- Port Coquitlam: http://www.city.port-coquitlam.bc.ca
- Port Moody: http://www.city.port-moody.bc.ca
- Richmond: http://www.city.richmond.bc.ca
- Surrey: http://www.city.surrey.bc.ca
- Vancouver: http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca
- West Vancouver: http://www.westvancouver.net
- White Rock: http://www.city.whiterock.bc.ca
Powell River Regional District: http://www.powellriverrd.bc.ca/
Sunshine Coast Regional District: http://www.scrd.bc.ca/index.html
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details