Sea Level Rise Adaptation Program

Sea Level Rise and Climate Adaptation

To help communities adapt to our changing environment, the RDN has launched the Sea Level Rise and Climate Adaptation Program. This multi-year initiative is designed to use the latest approaches in science and engineering to better understand flood hazards and identify applicable flood mitigation options to reduce the risk of flooding. These resources will be used by engineers and the development industry to plan construction projects and to update development policies and bylaws to ensure a standard of public safety into the future.

Coastal Flood Hazards

In January 2018, the Province of BC adopted an amendment to the Flood Hazard Area Land Use Management Guidelines that incorporated new building standards for coastal areas that consider relative sea level rise (RSLR) to 1.0 metre. These standards were integrated into the RDN's Floodplain Management Bylaw No. 1469 in December 2018.

To improve in the application of these standards, the RDN has developed a series of coastal flood hazard maps. The maps show land susceptible to flooding from the sea, providing vital information for flood mitigation, land use planning and emergency management. This information will be used by engineers and the development industry to plan construction projects near the coast and will inform updates to the RDN's development policies and bylaws.

Supporting project documents are provided below and the coastal flood hazard maps are anticipated to be available in late 2021:

Coastal Floodplain Mapping Project

River Flood Hazards

There are three major river systems in the region (Nanaimo River, Englishman River and Little Qualicum River) that are prone to flooding. Development in these areas is regulated through the Floodplain Management Bylaw No. 1469, and is based on flood hazard mapping produced by the province in the 1980s and 1990s. The current floodplain maps are considered outdated and will be replaced by the maps based on the most recent advances in hydrological modelling and fluvial assessment. Once completed, the new mapping information will be made publically available for use and the applicable development policies and bylaws will be updated. 

Information on active land use bylaw updates can be found by periodically checking the RDN’s Get Involved webpage. Or by contacting the RDN Planning Department directly at 250-390-6510. 

Other Resources