Engagement with local stewardship groups and communities will also include enlisting local “citizen scientists” to map the extent of local shoreline hardening within their communities on the East Coast of Vancouver Island. High-resolution topographical shoreline data and imagery will be collated, together with other local nearshore and estuary habitat layers, into the Strait of Georgia Data Centre’s Marine Reference Guide (currently in development, to be launched Fall 2021). PSF is currently developing this Strait of Georgia marine ecosystem map and will be including layers such as the B.C. Ministry of Environment’s online inventory of maps showing potential coastal flood hazard areas in B.C., as well as layers from the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC) Plan2Adapt tool. Plan2Adapt generates maps, plots, and data describing projected future climate conditions for regions throughout British Columbia. The impacts can be viewed by sector – agricultural, infrastructure, hydrology and land use planning – or by impact category – sea level rise/storm surge or possible flooding. Other layers to be included include the provincial BC Parks Shoreline Sensitivity to Sea Level Rise Model (BC Parks, undated) which provides data on the physical shoreline type and sensitivity to SLR for BC, as well as information from the CRD’s Coastal Sea Level Rise Risk Assessment project.
The community mapping component of this project will greatly increase the information base on extent of shoreline hardening, as well as to provide focus on areas that should be prioritized for soft shores approaches and advanced planning to allow for mitigation or avoidance of future Climate Change impacts. Citizens ‘learn by doing” and creating citizen science teams on ECVI for mapping will lead to increased understanding of soft shores concepts, the need for a team approach, and more effective buy-in for soft shores programming in local communities.