Climate Adaptation at Home

Small changes can add up, and can help us to be more prepared for the impacts of climate change on a larger scale.  There are many actions that can be done on your own property that will help the city as a whole adapt. By knowing your risks, planning ahead and utilizing green infrastructure we can be more resilient in the face of climate change. This page will provide some of the tools and resources that you can use to inform yourself and begin the adaptation process.

Know if you are at risk:

Identifying risks near your home is the first step in adaptation.

Plan ahead:

  • Have a family emergency plan in place

  • Prepare a 72 hour survival kit. New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/emo.html

  • Pay attention to weather forecasts & advisories

  • Report trees that overhang power lines to Saint John Energy: http://www.sjenergy.com/index.php?page=vegetation-management  

  • Remove tree limbs that may overhang your home or vehicles

  • Use bug spray when outdoors and near long grass

  • Consider modifications or equipment that will make your home more resilient to severe weather (i.e. generator, off grid power, flood proofing, stormwater management).

Adapt Coastal Infrastructure:

Adapting coastal infrastructure to sea level rise and coastal erosion can be achieved in three ways: protection, accommodation and retreat/avoidance. Examples include:

Protection: hard/soft armouring beaches and coastal infrastructure, dykes, sea walls, restoring beaches/coastal wetlands, reinstating vegetation.
Accommodation: flood proofing buildings, changing building design guidelines, protection of coastal wetlands and restricting use in coastal areas.

Retreat/Avoidance: either abandoning or relocating infrastructure out of low lying areas restricting development in low lying areas

Depending on the risks and costs associated with each strategy, no single approach can be applied to every situation. A combination of adaptation strategies would provide a more holistic approach to dealing with sea level rise.

Coastal Areas Protection Policy for New Brunswick:

The Coastal Areas Protection Policy was developed to guide development in coastal areas and to protect sensitive coastal habitats (NBDELG, 2002). Adaptation to sea level rise will require consultation with this policy to ensure the protection of New Brunswick’s beautiful coastline.  

  • Zone A - areas closest to the water known as the coastal lands core area. Most sensitive zone and the least amount of development is allowed in this area.

  • Zone B - adjacent land beyond Zone A which provide a further buffer (30 m beyond the border from Zone A). A slightly greater range of activities would be acceptable in this range (i.e. single family residence (with conditions), repair, expansion or replacement of already existing structures).

  • Zone C - Coastal Transition Area beyond Zone B that form a transition from coastal to inland areas. Any activity in this area is reviewed for risk of damage due to storm surge and the impact of the development on the coastal ecosystem. Design requirements or recommendations may be made for proposed structures (i.e. structures be built 2 m above the highest high water level).

Activities such as installing groynes, quarrying, infill, dredging and causeways are prohibited in all zones. This policy applies to new development on private and publicly owned land.

More information: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/env/pdf/Water-Eau/CoastalAreasProtectionPolicy.pdf

Manage Rain Where it Falls:

Green stormwater management infrastructure provides social and educational benefits by enhancing recreational spaces, beautifying/naturalizing the landscape, improving property values and provides opportunities for public education on stormwater management. Examples of green stormwater management methods include: rain barrels, rain gardens, bioswales, detention ponds, porous pavement, green roofs, stormwater planters, increasing vegetated surfaces, etc.

Sources:

Mercer Clarke, C.S.L., Manuel, P. and Warren, F.J., 2016. The coastal challenge; in Canada’s Marine Coasts in a Changing Climate, (ed.) D.S. Lemmen, F.J. Warren, T.S. James and C.S.L. Mercer Clarke; Government of Canada, Ottawa, ON, p. 69-98.

New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government (NBDELG). 2002. A Coastal Areas Protection Policy for New Brunswick. Government of New Brunswick.

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