Resilient Coasts for Salmon is part of the PSF 
Marine Science Program

Building Awareness

One of the major bottlenecks to uptake in innovative practices such as nature based approaches and Green Shores approaches, is the lack of public awareness of these options. Public education and engagement help communities to increase their understanding of how communities may be directly affected by sea level rise now and in the future, and the solutions available to them. Although BC waterfront property owners surveyed in 2020 were most familiar with the use and preservation of vegetation as protective and landscape features and with boardwalks over ecologically-sensitive areas, they had no to little familiarity with beach nourishment and techniques to improve sediment transfer, flood control or sea level rise mitigation. Awareness and knowledge of different programs encouraging the application of soft shoreline techniques was also very low among waterfront property owners.

We will implement a multi-faceted approach to educate BC communities, government decision makers, municipalities and coastal professionals about current and future climate impacts(including risks, vulnerability, hard armouring) in their local communities on the east coast of Vancouver Island (ECVI) and the long-term adaptive benefits of nature-based approaches to address coastal sea level rise, storm surge and flooding. We will provide education on practical strategies that use living shorelines or green infrastructure for reducing flood risk due to climate change while promoting healthy shoreline ecosystems on high value salmon habitat on east coast of Vancouver Island and Strait of Georgia island communities. Learning opportunities will be provided by delivering educational content and outreach/communications materials (hard copy, virtual seminars, regular teleconferences, photographic and video resources, “lunch and learn events”, community days, and annual in-person meetings).

Communities will include, but not be restricted to: stewardship groups, interested public, First Nations, Real Estate Foundation of BC, government decision makers, municipalities, Front Counter staff, planners, and coastal professionals. We a starting in 2021 with communities in Victoria and South Vancouver Island, and will move northwards up the East Coast of Vancouver Island, working with different communities up to Port McNeill and north Vancouver Island. The final year's programming in 2025 will focus on rural communities of ECVI. 

Expected results

Expected results are 1) Increased awareness and understanding of current and future predicted climate change impacts in ECVI communities, and 2) Increased awareness of the benefits and value (environmental, aesthetic, ecological, social and economic) of nature-based approaches, with a particular emphasis on soft or living shorelines approaches.

During 2021 we are working to develop a number of guides including: 1) an education primer on current and potential Climate Change impacts (including risks, vulnerability, hard armouring) in communities on the east coast of Vancouver Island (ECVI) and 2) an online tool-kit of Nature-Based solutions for a) Coastal Storms, Sea Level Rise and b) Flooding, with a focus on living shorelines. These manuals will be provided to communities in digital format and paper copies will be provided if requested. Paper copies will be provided to Front Counter staff, local municipalities, local stewardship groups, Band offices, the Real Estate Foundation and local realtors. We are in the process of also creating a succinct 2 to 4 page "bulletin" style flyers. We will also work with realtors to include "before" and "after" photographs in their yearly client calendars. Education activities will include informative webinars from accredited shoreline professionals and educators, as well as more informal "lunch and learn" style opportunities, community events for significant outreach activities, and educational signage which will be placed at three demonstration sites.

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