Coastal communities in BC face significant impacts due to our changing climate, from sea level rise to increased storm surges and intense weather events. Emerging research and practice suggest that resilience for coastal communities and ecosystems can be greater where adaptation includes ecosystem protection and restoration.
“Green coastal infrastructure” such as wetlands, beaches, reefs, eelgrass and barrier islands – both natural and eco-engineered – can measurably help to buffer wave impacts and higher waters. At the same time, they can provide natural habitat and multiple other benefits, for example supporting fisheries and recreation. Where it is impossible to rely on natural features alone, green dikes and other hybrid approaches are available.
Implementing green coastal infrastructure approaches is challenging, however, because legal jurisdiction for managing our coastlines is highly fragmented. West Coast is working to identify implementation pathways, support interdisciplinary cooperation on best practices, and facilitate collaboration among policymakers to make these solutions a reality.
Click here to learn more about West Coast’s work to help communities prepare for and adapt to climate change.