Seaports are essential for global trade-led development: they provide access to global markets and supply-chains for all countries, and are integral to maritime transport, as well as fisheries, and many economic activities in coastal areas. However, due to their location in low-lying estuaries and deltas, ports are extremely susceptible to the impacts of rising sea levels, storm surges, waves and winds, as well as tectonic events (e.g. tsunamis). Please read this recent article for more information.
Our coastlines are places inhabited by people for thousands of years. They are home to various important cultural sites and landscapes. The identity of many coastlines is tied in tangible and intangible ways to centuries of cultural practices at the land-water interface. Important cultural landscapes, both known and those still undocumented, will be vulnerable to flooding as a result of sea level rise and storm surges. This will have substantial impacts on the daily lives of local communities as well as tourism and livelihoods depending on cultural landscapes.
As sea levels rise, coastal communities will experience more frequent and persistent nuisance flooding, and low-lying areas may be permanently inundated. Critical components of lifeline infrastructure networks in these areas are also at risk of flooding, which will cause significant service disruptions that extend beyond the flooded zone. This means, identifying critical infrastructures and utility systems that are exposed to sea level rise and coastal flooding are important first steps in understanding how to better adapt coastal communities to future conditions.
Currently, dikes protect many low-lying agriculture lands from sea level rise and coastal flooding. However, many dikes in BC generally do not meet current provincial standards. Upgrading the dikes to meet the updated standards is costly, particularly where major land acquisitions would be required. For more information on the assessment of the dikes in the Lower Mainland, please follow this link.