Coastal Resilience Project

The Town of Gibsons is conducting the Coastal Resilience Project in partnership with the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI). See the MNAI’s related webpage Managing Natural Assets to Coastal Resilience here.

Through the Coastal Resilience Project, the Town of Gibsons seeks to maintain and/or enhance the long-term ability of our natural foreshore to provide core services such as flood protection, storm surge and coastal erosion management in a cost-effective and reliable manner.

This will be achieved by:

  1. Identifying, evaluating and valuing the role of coastal natural assets in flood protection; and then,
  2. Developing strategies to manage our coastal natural assets as part of local and provincial government asset management systems, using MNAI’s pilot coastal resilience methodology.

The project also aims to hone the methodology required to care for natural foreshore assets, so that other communities across Canada can replicate and scale the process up.

Project results will inform foreshore restoration work that is required over the coming years, and act as an important input for the Source to Sea Project.

Project Approach

The Coastal Resilience Project comprises seven phases of work:

  1. Identify & inventory:
    (a) natural assets of interest in the areas immediately surrounding Gibsons (e.g. salt marsh, estuaries, rocky shorelines);
    (b) the ecosystem functions of the identified asset(s) (e.g. a salt marsh may mitigate storm surge); and
    (c) the municipal services derived from the ecosystem function (e.g. a salt marsh’s wave attenuation function may reduce coastal flooding or have potential to do so).
  2. Use information collected in phase 1 (described above) to create individual and “mixed” (i.e. more than one scenario) modelling scenarios. For example: determine the impact on our natural foreshore asset in climate change scenarios, with land use intensification, or as a result of development. COMPLETED
  3. Assess condition of, and risk to, natural assets and determine beneficiaries of the services provided by the natural asset. IN PROGRESS
  4. Determine the economic value of the municipal functions provided by the natural asset. TBC
  5. Identify planning, land-use and other decision-making options to ensure cost-effective service delivery from well-managed coastal natural assets. TBC
  6. Develop costed operations and maintenance plan and other standard asset management measures to manage the identified natural asset effectively. TBC
  7. Refine the MNAI pilot coastal zone method (as determined through this process) based on experience and feedback. TBC