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.

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 being updated to incorporate climate change considerations including sea level rise.

The new mapping information and risk assessment findings are now publicly available for the Englishman River and the Little Qualicum River (below). The Nanaimo River Mapping information is scheduled for completion in 2023.   

For more information visit the RDN’s Get Involved webpage and register to receive email notifications as this initiative progresses.

River Floodplain Mapping Project

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 better understand coastal flood hazards in the region, the RDN retained Ebbwater Consulting Inc. along with Cascadia Coast Research Ltd. in 2018 to develop flood mapping for the coastal area. The mapping information was released in June 2020. Revised mapping information followed in October 2021. The revised documents and supporting information are located below:

Coastal Floodplain Mapping Project

Other Resources