Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Bulkhead Removal - Putting goals into practice

Description

The waterfront and shoreline of the Town of Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada is a defining component of the town and surrounding area. Recent demands to improve both the commercial and recreational elements of the waterfront area have raised concerns about the implications of future sea level rise (SLR).

A Waterfront Master Plan process was initiated by the Town to begin the process of planning for both future development and adaptation to SLR. The 12 km of waterfront area is almost completely hardened and the coastal plain behind the various seawalls and rock revetments will be flooded with 1 meter of SLR.

A detailed sediment model of the Qualicum Beach shoreline was developed using the Coastal Modeling System (CMS) from the US Army Corps of Engineers. The model, together with extensive assessment and field evaluation of historical photographs, dating back to 1908, were used to assess the influence of the gradual shoreline hardening on the coastal processes and the implications for the future.

The results suggest that, although net erosion in the intertidal zone is expected to continue, there is an overall decrease in the net erosion rate (m3/storm) with sea level rise. Analysis also indicates that although the extensive seawalls, revetments and bulkheads along the shoreline have resulted in the loss of the fine sand in the upper intertidal area, the effect of these structures will be significantly less in the future.

The study provides useful and informative information for the assessment of the future merits of removing hard shoreline structures. While the results are particular to the Qualicum Beach shoreline they provide insightful guidance for the balancing of environmental benefits together with the expected value tradeoffs involved in also providing safety and security against flooding in the future.

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Assessment of Shoreline Structures on Beach Morphology: Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada

2016SSEC

The waterfront and shoreline of the Town of Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada is a defining component of the town and surrounding area. Recent demands to improve both the commercial and recreational elements of the waterfront area have raised concerns about the implications of future sea level rise (SLR).

A Waterfront Master Plan process was initiated by the Town to begin the process of planning for both future development and adaptation to SLR. The 12 km of waterfront area is almost completely hardened and the coastal plain behind the various seawalls and rock revetments will be flooded with 1 meter of SLR.

A detailed sediment model of the Qualicum Beach shoreline was developed using the Coastal Modeling System (CMS) from the US Army Corps of Engineers. The model, together with extensive assessment and field evaluation of historical photographs, dating back to 1908, were used to assess the influence of the gradual shoreline hardening on the coastal processes and the implications for the future.

The results suggest that, although net erosion in the intertidal zone is expected to continue, there is an overall decrease in the net erosion rate (m3/storm) with sea level rise. Analysis also indicates that although the extensive seawalls, revetments and bulkheads along the shoreline have resulted in the loss of the fine sand in the upper intertidal area, the effect of these structures will be significantly less in the future.

The study provides useful and informative information for the assessment of the future merits of removing hard shoreline structures. While the results are particular to the Qualicum Beach shoreline they provide insightful guidance for the balancing of environmental benefits together with the expected value tradeoffs involved in also providing safety and security against flooding in the future.