Sea Level Rise
Sea level rise is projected to rise approximately 1 metre over the next century along the 77 km coastline of the CVRD. On British Columbia’s coast, sea level change is influenced by both global and local effects.
Global sea level is affected by melting of glaciers and ice caps and warming (thermal expansion) of the upper ocean. Locally, sea level rise is also affected by vertical movements of the land (tectonic movements, rebound and subsidence).
Estimates of mean sea level rise by 2100 for the BC coast range from 80 cm at Nanaimo to 120 cm in the Fraser Delta. Potential impacts of sea level rise in British Columbia include:
- More frequent and extreme high water levels in coastal areas
- Increased erosion and flooding
- Increased risk to coastal infrastructure, as well as increased maintenance and repair costs
- Loss of property due to erosion
- Loss of habitat and reduced biodiversity
- Saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifers
- Loss of cultural and historic sites
Tools and Resources
- The report Evaluation of B.C. Flood Policy for Coastal Areas in a Changing Climate examines whether current provincial policies and programs support or hinder adaptive decision making, and suggests measures that would facilitate adaptive action along B.C. coasts.
- The Sea Level Rise Adaptation Primer (PDF, 3.3MB) is a resource for local governments and land management authorities, providing information on a range of tools that can be used as part of a sea level rise adaptation strategy.
- The King Tide Photo Initiative is a public outreach and engagement campaign that invites people to observe today's high water events (high tide/storm surge events) and imagine the future of B.C.'s coastline with sea level rise.
- Sea level rise projections for tide gauge and GPS stations on the BC coast (PDF). These projections are based on a global sea level rise of 1m by the year 2100. This is the level currently recommended for planning purposes.
Shoreline Protection Measures – Useful Links
Green Shores project is an initiative of the Stewardship Centre for BC and provides options and tools for a wide range of planning, design and construction professionals who are interested in minimizing the environmental impacts of their projects in a cost effective manner. For home owners and communities, the stories, resources and examples presented here can inspire you to make choices that will be beneficial to everyone in the long term.