Our work on climate change adaptation
The EAC thinks adapting to climate change will be one of the greatest challenges to face Nova Scotia’s coastal communities over the coming decades, and one of the biggest investments we can make today. Climate change adaptation is about anticipating the risks of cumulative change like rising sea levels and extreme events like storm surges and making plans and changing practices so we can adapt to new circumstances. Adaptation may have associated costs, like potentially relocating wharves and infrastructure, but it will also save money and create new opportunities.
A key focus of Ecology Action Centre’s adaptation efforts include demonstrating ecological restoration, such are our Living Shorelines work in the Northumberland Strait and around Halifax. Our Living Shorelines work is funded by the Intact Insurance Foundation and the University of Waterloo climate change adaptation project, and demonstrates cost-effective adaptation approaches for dealing with coastal climate impacts.
We also engage citizens around adaptation through efforts like our #drownns twitter campaign, and drown Nova Scotia tumblr blog, as well as the Coastal Living 2050 Design charette we co-hosted with Dalhousie School of Planning, Halifax Regional Municipality, Waterfront Development, and Fusion Halifax during Coastal Zone Canada 2014.
Finally, the EAC believes the climate change adaptation requires strong legislation and policy to ensure government, citizens, and industry are clearly accountable to shared adaptation goals and targets. The Ecology Action Centre sees a Nova Scotia Coastal Zone Act as a key tool for climate change adaptation in Nova Scotia.
Municipalities and climate change adaptation
The EAC is working with municipalities and community groups to support coastal planning as a climate change adaptation strategy through sharing information, strategies, and approaches from other jurisdictions. We have prepared some fact sheets for municipalities on coastal climate change adaptation, available here. Our stormwater management project also has many resources for municipalities dealing with climate change, including our stormwater blog.
ParCA - Partnership for Canadian-Caribbean Climate Change Adaptation
ParCA is a research project led by the University of Waterloo and the University of the West Indies. ParCA seeks to foster learning and collaboration between coastal communities in Nova Scotia, PEI, Jamaica, and Tobago, to understand adaptive strategies in the face of climate change. EAC is a community partner in ParCA project, and we support the research in the Nova Scotia study sites of Shelburne and Queens County. Learn more about ParCA here.
Climate Change Adaptation in Cheticamp (2011-2013)
Between 2011-2013, the Ecology Action Centre worked with community and provincial partners on a climate change adaptation project in Cheticamp, Cape Breton. The project focused on helping the tourism and fisheries sectors in Cheticamp understand climate change risks and opportunities specific to their sector. This project was funded by Canada’s Rural Secretariat under the Knowledge Development Partnership. For more information on the Climate Change Adaptation Project in Cheticamp, and to download reports and publicaitons, including a handbook to engage communities in climate change adaptation, click here.
This project focused on how climate change will impact fisheries and tourism in coastal communities. We identified potential barriers to competitiveness, as well as any opportunities related to climate change. We developed tool kits for the fisheries and tourism sectors to help them come up with adaptation strategies. The toolkits and everything else we learned are shared with other communities through the fishing and tourism associations. You can learn more about our project activities, and download copies of our reports and fact sheet at www.cccheticamp.ca
The EAC is working with municipalities and community groups to support coastal planning as a climate change adaptation strategy through sharing information, and strategies and approaches from other jurisdictions. We have prepared some fact sheets for municipalities on coastal climate change adaptation, available here. Our stormwater management project also has many resources for municipalities dealing with climate change, including our stormwater blog.
In 2011, the EAC did a research project on Northumberland Strait property owners’ attitudes and practices around coastal erosion. We are currently researching options for implementing less damaging ways to manage erosion, and hope to establish living shoreline demonstration projects soon. Our report and other resources for property owners about managing erosion and better beach management is available here.
This project is funded in part by Canada’s Rural Partnership, an initiative of the Government of Canada.