As a result of climate change, coastal areas, including West Vancouver’s waterfront, are vulnerable to flooding from extreme weather. This risk will continue to increase with projected sea level rise in the future where low-lying areas will become even more vulnerable to flooding over time. This is already experienced on the North Shore during combined strong winds and high tides.
Adapting proactively will help prepare the community for changes in coastal areas, benefit financial planning and risk reduction, improve environmental health and may provide additional community benefits such as enriched public spaces and enhanced community well-being.
What the District is Doing
The District of West Vancouver has been proactively preparing for the effects of sea level rise through:
North Shore Sea Level Rise Strategy
This strategy will help us understand and manage the present and future risks of sea level rise across the North Shore.
Coastal Marine Management Plan
The Coastal Marine Management Plan sets a framework to guide the management of shoreline areas in the District of West Vancouver, including:
- Preserving ecosystems and managing coastal dynamics such as sea level rise and erosion;
- Protecting built infrastructure, parks, and natural assets in waterfront areas; and
- Managing development at public-private interfaces.
A draft report was developed under the guidance and leadership of the Coastal Marine Management Plan Working Group and recommends coastal management objectives and actions for District Council and staff to consider implementing over the next 10 to 20 years.
Foreshore Development Permit Area
As climate change causes increased sea level rise and storm surge, it is important to develop building regulations in areas at risk of coastal hazards and flooding. A Foreshore Development Permit Area (DPA) would guide redevelopment of properties within areas potentially impacted by coastal flooding, and ensure that new development is suitably designed for safe use in response to climate change threats.