Sea Level Rise Adaptation Primer & Update
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Sea Level Rise Adaptation Primer & Update


BC Ministry of Environment


Dec 2010 to Dec 2013

Project Type



EBA Engineering, a Tetra Tech Company; Sustainability Solutions Group; DE Jardine Consulting


The Arlington Group was retained by the Ministry of Environment to prepare a Primer on sea level rise adaptation tools. The Primer is a nationally relevant document with extensive documentation of the legislative and policy tools local government decision makers have at their disposal to adapt to sea level rise in Canada's six provinces with southern coastlines. The 21 tools explored are grouped into Planning Tools, Regulatory Tools, Land Use Change or Restriction, Structural (Flood Protection Works), and Non-Structural (Soft Armouring). Each tool contains a discussion of its advantages and disadvantages, enabling legislation, implementation methods, as well as environmental, economic and social considerations. Included are hybrid tools like living shorelines and its emerging B.C. application, Green Shores, which provide a mix of armouring and structural applications with a strong perspective on environmental stewardship.

The Primer explores the relationship of different tools to four overriding strategies: 'Avoid', 'Adapt', 'Protect', and 'Retreat' and addresses the critical role of public education and consultation in the success of any strategy. The Primer was released in early 2013 and is posted on the Ministry of Environment website. The Project team included engineering and environmental consultants in B.C., Quebec, and Atlantic Canada.