Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Protecting Natural Shoreline Functions with Existing Regulations and New Approaches

Description

In British Columbia, many coastal communities around the Salish Sea are highly vulnerable to sea level rise and increased storm surge as a result of climate change. Coastal ecosystems in those communities are also at risk. To date hard armouring responses have received the most attention as a protective measure for the built environment, but there is growing interest in exploring how natural and restored coastal ecosystems can buffer communities from climate change. However, legal authority over BC’s coasts is fragmented, involving multiple levels of government (local, provincial, First Nations and federal) and government agencies, all with limited or no coordination. An analysis of existing regulatory powers and land use decisionmaking authority through the lens of coastal ecosystem protection concludes that collaboration and coordination are essential to implement approaches that support naturally functioning shorelines. On the ground in BC, the results of a green waterfront design workshop examining options for addressing sea level rise in three neighbourhoods in Greater Vancouver provide further insight into implementation challenges and opportunities for ecosystem-based approaches.

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Overcoming jurisdictional fragmentation to support naturally functioning shorelines and climate resilience in coastal BC communities

2016SSEC

In British Columbia, many coastal communities around the Salish Sea are highly vulnerable to sea level rise and increased storm surge as a result of climate change. Coastal ecosystems in those communities are also at risk. To date hard armouring responses have received the most attention as a protective measure for the built environment, but there is growing interest in exploring how natural and restored coastal ecosystems can buffer communities from climate change. However, legal authority over BC’s coasts is fragmented, involving multiple levels of government (local, provincial, First Nations and federal) and government agencies, all with limited or no coordination. An analysis of existing regulatory powers and land use decisionmaking authority through the lens of coastal ecosystem protection concludes that collaboration and coordination are essential to implement approaches that support naturally functioning shorelines. On the ground in BC, the results of a green waterfront design workshop examining options for addressing sea level rise in three neighbourhoods in Greater Vancouver provide further insight into implementation challenges and opportunities for ecosystem-based approaches.