Sea Level Rise and Climate Adaptation

Sea levels are expected to rise as a result of climate change and winter storms are expected to increase in intensity. Planning for climate change and sea level rise now will help reduce costs and impacts in the future.

The Province adopted an amendment to the Flood Hazard Area Land Use Management Guidelines as of January 1, 2018, by incorporating sea level rise into building setbacks and flood construction levels in all coastal areas. Provincial guidelines indicate that wave effect and freeboard, which would increase water levels above what previous flood maps indicated, also have to be considered when preparing mapping to determine a Flood Construction Level (FCL).

CVRD Coastal Flood Mapping Project

  • In August 2018, CVRD Planning and Development Services and Comox Valley Emergency Program staff jointly applied to the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP) to develop coastal flood mapping as well as a riverine flood model and flood map for the Oyster River system. 
  • The CVRD has secured $500,000 through the National Disaster Mitigation Program for coastal flood mapping.
  • The CVRD Coastal Flood Mapping project stems from the 2018 Oyster River/Saratoga Beach Flood Risk Assessment Final Report, funded by the UBCM Community Emergency Preparedness Fund and conducted by Ebbwater Consulting. The risk assessment determined there is significant flood risk. Flood mapping and risk reduction were identified as priorities in the final report.
  • The CVRD intends to work with adjacent local governments to undertake the coastal flood mapping of the entire CVRD geographic area in order to gain a complete picture of sea level rise in the region.
  • With funds secured, the next step in understanding the full picture of flood mitigation in the Comox Valley.

 Project Next steps

  • The project is funded through the National Disaster Mitigation Program and BC Disaster Mitigation Program with completion by March 31, 2020.
  • A Request for Proposals, was issued, and closed on August 29, 2019. The CVRD awarded the contract to Kerr Wood Leidal (KWL).
  • KWL has begun the data collection and Oyster River survey work.
  • Coastal flood mapping will help inform future risk assessment and risk-based planning, which is considered the best practice for disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation.
  • Project deliverables will support the CVRD’s aim to become more resilient to flood hazards and lay foundation for future flood mitigation planning.

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