Fraser Basin Council


2011 – Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. for BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

This report is intended to provide a technically sound basis for BC local governments to develop coastal floodplain maps, and includes an estimation of Flood Construction Levels (FCLs), based on best mapping and engineering practices. In light of rising sea levels, coastal floodplain maps are needed so that local governments can define sea level rise planning zones for land use planning and development decisions. The report summarizes recommended standards for topographic mapping in the production of coastal floodplain maps. A sample coastal floodplain map and design brief for the City of Campbell River is included.

In conjunction with this project, a coastal flood hazard web application had been developed. It illustrates potential year 2100 floodplain areas in coastal BC, based on approximate FCLs.

2012 – Delcan for the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

This report explores diking and other flood management options, along with related costs, for more than 250 km of coastal shoreline in Metro Vancouver, including the Fraser River downstream of the Port Mann Bridge. Options include new or expanded dikes, floodwalls where there is insufficient room for dikes, breakwaters or barrier islands to dissipate wave energy, restrictions on building in the floodplain and better emergency response systems. The report estimates a cost of $9.5 billion to implement flood-protection improvements in Metro Vancouver by 2100 to address sea level rise.

2018 - Engineers and Geoscientists of BC

These Professional Practice Guidelines – Legislated Flood Assessments in a Changing Climate in BC were commissioned by the British Columbia (BC) Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development (MFLNRORD). They were written to guide professional practice for flood assessments, identify the circumstances when Risk Assessments are appropriate, and emphasize the need to consider climate change and land use changes in such assessments. MFLNRORD and Engineers and Geoscientists BC assembled a team of specialists from government and the engineering and geoscience community to prepare and review these guidelines. The goal is that the application of these guidelines will result in consistent and comprehensive Flood Assessment Reports being submitted to government authorities.

2014 – SNC Lavalin for the Stewardship Centre for British Columbia

This report explores use of soft shore armouring approaches as an alternative to, or adaptation of, hard armouring of the shoreline, within the context of climate change, sea level rise practices and guidelines, and flood protection.

The study evaluated the effectiveness of the three soft shore armouring approaches, based on specific scenarios and case examples (communities along the BC shoreline). Each was evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Adaptability to sea level rise from climate change
  • Effectiveness in protecting the shoreline against flooding
  • Effectiveness in providing ecological resilience
  • Relative cost, taking into account initial capital investment, maintenance and replacement costs.

The report was prepared by SNC Lavalin for the Stewardship Centre for British Columbia, with the support of Natural Resources Canada.


2013 - Arlington Group Planning + Architecture Inc. and others for the Government of British Columbia

Coastal hazards associated with sea level rise include coastal inundation (flooding), reduced drainage capacity (due to higher groundwater levels), coastal erosion, changes to coastal habitats and loss of wetlands, such as salt marshes. The BC Ministry of Environment commissioned the Sea Level Rise Adaptation Primer: A Toolkit to Build Adaptive Capacity on Canada's South Coasts to help coastal management authorities — mainly local governments  — identify, evaluate and compare options for adapting to the impacts of sea level rise and associated coastal hazards. The Primer offers 21 adaptation tools: for planning, regulation, land use changes/restrictions and for structural (flood protection) and non-structural (soft armouring) works.

The project was funded through the BC Regional Adaptation Collaborative (RAC) in partnership with Atlantic RAC and Natural Resources Canada to investigate adaptation on Canada's Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

2015 - Capital Regional District

Assessing Coastal Risk in the Capital Regional District webinar explores the Capital Regional District's (CRD) Sea Level Rise Planning Projects, which were undertaken in two phases. The first phase prepared a Coastal Sea Level Rise Risk Assessment to further understand regional coastal vulnerabilities to sea level rise. Analyses included mapping of 24 focus areas across the capital region vulnerable to sea level rise. An economic risk assessment and analysis of economic impacts associated with service disruptions were also completed. The second phase identified a regional approach to sea level rise adaptation planning. A literature review, development of a decision making framework and stakeholder engagement process were completed to inform an analysis of adaptation tools. This resulted in the development of a tool kit of prioritized planning, regulatory and site-specified adaptation tools specific to the Capital Regional District and its local governments.

Nikki Elliott, Capital Regional District, Climate Action Program Coordinator

2014 — City of Vancouver

In 2014 the City of Vancouver revised its bylaws to raise flood construction levels to respond to the increased risk of flood damage due to climate change. The provisions took effect January 1, 2015.

Important: Check with the City of Vancouver for current bylaw text.


Canadian Institute of Planners

The global climate is changing, leading to increased hazards, extreme weather conditions, and transformations to the physical environment in Canada and beyond. Preparing for the unavoidable impacts of climate change requires a drastic shift in the way we build our communities, and requires immediate and committed action at every level of government, society, and across all sectors. Planners are in a unique position to bring together officials, citizens, and allied professions in an integrated and collaborative approach, and in a program of careful, equity-oriented planning. Check out this website for climate change resources for planners.

CALP Delta-RAC Project Team

The Delta-RAC Sea Level Rise Adaptation Visioning Study – Policy Report shows how mapping and visualizations can advance land use planning, decision-making and implementation of adaptation measures. The visioning study explores scenarios related to sea level rise, storm surge and increased storm water for Delta and its neighbourhoods, and looks at adaptation options. The project received funding from the BC Regional Adaptation Collaborative program

For more information, visit the Delta-RAC Sea Level Rise Adaptation website, hosted by the UBC Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP). The site provides visualizations of future adaptation scenarios and training modules.

District of West Vancouver

The District of West Vancouver created a shoreline protection plan (SPP) to help recreate a naturally self-sustaining shoreline to address the impacts of development, climate change and sea level rise.


About ReTooling for Climate Change

The ReTooling for Climate Change website is a project of the Fraser Basin Council to support local governments and First Nations in BC in preparing for climate change adaptation. The site is funded through the BC Regional Adaptation Collaborative (BC RAC), a partnership program of the Fraser Basin Council and the BC Ministry of Environment – Climate Action Secretariat, with funding from Natural Resources Canada and other in-kind contributions.

Find out more about the Fraser Basin Council and the BC RAC at

We want to hear from you

Share your ideas and suggestions for new resource links to , Senior Program Manager, at the Fraser Basin Council.

Also worth a visit

On this site, you’ll find links to many helpful websites on climate change adaptation.

For steps communities can take to mitigate climate change, check out the Climate Action Toolkit website.