1 sea level rise | West Coast Environmental Law


sea level rise

Wading into the science on sea level rise – BC lags behind

18 May, 2017

If you’ve been following BC’s sea-level woes extra closely, you’ll know that planning for a sea-level increase of “1 metre by 2100” has become a kind of mantra for local governments and others responsible for planning and readying our communities. While a one metre increase in sea-level rise may seem substantial, we’re worried that the figure is out of date and ignores more recent science and the benefits of a precautionary, risk management approach.


Coastal cities like Vancouver are particularly vulnerable when it comes to sea level rise. (Photo: Scott Kirk)

All (green) hands needed on deck - getting ready for sea level rise

15 May, 2015

Some call sea-level rise a "slow-moving emergency", with a 1m rise predicted by 2100 and an estimated $9.5bn price tag to prepare BC for that rise. What kinds of diverse solutions should we be exploring to help us prepare, and why are there legal barriers to implementing some of the best options?

Three years ago the Province released a report estimating it would cost $9.5 billion to prepare the Lower Mainland for rising sea levels by 2100. The report focused on “hard” solutions: dikes, sea gates, flood walls.

RISING to the challenge and protecting our communities and our coastlines

19 November, 2014

RISE, a recent competition organized by Simon Fraser University, asked entrants to come up with a visionary solution to make the greater Vancouver area more resilient to sea level rise. West Coast Environmental Law teamed up with DG Blair from the BC Stewardship Centre and Cathy LeBlanc, a senior planner at the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development to propose that an “old” idea—relying on natural shorelines to create a buffer zone for seaside properties—was an effective means to protect our communities from the impacts of rising seas if it was applied in a new way on a larger scale. We were awarded the prize for Best Environmental Idea. Congratulations to all the other winners, and all the competitors.

We’ve all seen some of the graphic images of flooding along the East Coast of the United States in recent years: neighbourhoods where streets have become canals, an oddly picturesque parking lot full of yellow taxis floating in blue water up to their windshields, and not-so-picturesque images of people assessing the wreckage of their homes and belongings.

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