Providing Regional Climate Services to British Columbia

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BC Government Releases New Report on Sea Level Rise

A new report released by the British Columbia government shows governments will need to continue working together to meet the challenge of climate change and rising sea levels over the next 90 years and beyond.

The report, Climate Change Adaption Guidelines for Sea Dikes and Coastal Flood Hazard Land Use, shows that sea levels will rise faster and greater than previously thought. The report recommends land use planners take into consideration a 0.5-metre rise in sea levels for developments with design life spans up to the year 2050, and 1.0 metres up to the year 2100.

The report also indicates that significant cross-government collaboration and education will be needed to meet the effects rising sea levels will bring to BC’s coastal communities. The frequency and intensity of coastal wave and storm surge events are not expected to change significantly.

Last year ministry staff worked with the Fraser Basin Council and local government stakeholders to help inform the report. This work was undertaken as part of the BC regional adaptation collaborative, funded in part by the province and Natural Resources Canada. The province is leading the way by drafting a policy that will update existing guidelines for sea dikes and land use planning.

While this policy development is in its early stages, moving forward, the province will take the recommendations of the report under full consideration, including further stakeholder and public engagement.