Event Title

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

Presentation Abstract

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.

Session Title

Bulkhead Removal - Putting goals into practice

Conference Track

Shorelines

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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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.