Government of New Brunswick

Background

In 2008 Natural Resources Canada announced a federal Regional Adaptation Collaborative funding program for adaptation to climate change. The funding program would fund 6 Regional Adaptation Collaborative across Canada.

Interested organizations were asked to submit a Letter of Interest. The four Atlantic Departments of Environment led by New Brunswick, developed a partnership and submitted a Letter of Interest in the fall of 2008. In the winter of 2009 NRCan asked the Atlantic Provinces to prepare a full proposal based on the submitted Letter of Interest. We collaborated as provinces and with over 100 non-profit and for profit partners submitted a full proposal in August 2009.

The primary partners are:

  • Nova Scotia Department of Environment
  • New Brunswick Department of Environment
  • Prince Edward Island Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Environment and Conservation
  • Insurance Bureau of Canada
  • Atlantic Planners Institute
  • The four Atlantic Engineering Associations
  • The Atlantic Municipal Associations/Unions
  • Natural Resources Canada

The Atlantic RAC proposal includes over 25 collaborative projects spread across Atlantic Canada for a total value of approximately $8.4 million. The proposed projects will begin in Spring 2010 and be completed by November 2012.

Total budget for New Brunswick cash and in-kind is $2,068,499.

The intent of the projects is to address adaptation issues common to the four Atlantic Provinces.

Examples of projects:

  • Dykeland Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Project - (Amherst, NS and Sackville, NB) will determine potential impacts of a changing climate on infrastructure and land uses.

  • Sea-Level Rise and Erosion Risk and Vulnerability Assessments - (Le Goulet, NB; City of Summerside, PE; Minus Basin, NS; Stephenville Crossing, NL). These projects will determine the impact of present and future sea-level rise on the existing built environment.

  • Groundwater Quality and Quantity Assessment - three of the Atlantic Provinces will test a salt water intrusion model in theTown of Richibucto, NB, City of Summerside, PE, Minus Basin, NS to determine the impact of salt water intrusion on municipal aquifers. This will assist the communities in finding a sustainable source of potable water.

  • Inland Flooding Risk and Vulnerability Assessment - (For example: Town of Rothesay, NB; Town of Stratford, PE; Bay Roberts, NL; Halifax Regional Municipality, NS). These projects will examine how increased precipitation and flooding will impact infrastructure and land uses.

  • Surface Water and Waste Water Infrastructure Vulnerability Assessment Tool - (Insurance Bureau of Canada). This tool will be tested in approximately 12 communities in Atlantic Canada of a variety of sizes and types, which will allow municipalities to better understand the present and future risks to their municipal infrastructure.

The deliverables of all the projects will create tools and approaches which will be made available throughout the region and assist Atlantic communities address climate change at the municipal level by working with municipal staff, professional land use planners and professional engineers.

The deliverables include:

  • Model by-laws on adaptation for municipalities
  • Proposed changes to municipal land use plans
  • Proposed changes to infrastructure design standards
  • Proposed changes to municipal emergency management plans
  • An Atlantic climate change adaptation tool kit
  • Build the capacity of professional engineers, planners and municipal officials by supporting learning experiences on adaptation
 

List of the Projects for the Province of New Brunswick

1. Dykelands Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Project

Adaptation Issue and Background

  • Coastal Flooding and Coastal Change (sea-level rise, storm surge, erosion and sedimentation)
  • This area was chosen because it has a history of flooding due to coastal storms (for example, the Saxby Gale), the entire land area is at or below sea-level and the communities and infrastructure (Trans-Canada Highway and main CN rail-line) are protected by dykes. This area is the vital transportation, economic and physical link between the two provinces. The provincial governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick maintain the dykes and therefore, this project will assist the provinces in preparing long-term dykeland management strategies to protect the vital linkages. The Towns of Sackville, NB and Amherst, NS are very interested and ready to address climate change within their own municipal land use plans, and emergency plans. As well, both provincial governments are ready and willing to consider policy changes to address present and future climate change issues. This will be a joint project between the Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
  • The approach taken in the project will provide both provinces and municipalities with sufficient information to make the necessary policy changes to begin protecting this important area from climate change. Presently, there is some information available regarding potential flooding and impacts of climate change but without specifics provincial and municipal policies cannot be supported. This information will provide the information and will result in policy and adaptation recommendations.

Project Description

  • Map the dykelands using LIDAR to create a digital elevation model (DEM) (Some of this area has been mapped already so we will be expanding on that to have one consistent data layer) Determine future climate projections and sea-level rise - Atlantic Technical Team
  • Model flood, erosion and sedimentation changes using the digital elevation model (DEM) -Identify dykes, infrastructure and buildings at risk under different climate scenarios - Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture, Atlantic Infrastructure Team
  • Create a check list for proposed projects and infrastructure - development approval process, subdivision reviews, and re-zonings - Atlantic Planning Team
  • Recommend modifications to existing Municipal and Rural Plan to identified climate change hazards and risks - Atlantic Planning Team
  • Recommend adaptation solutions such as dyke maintenance, key areas where dykes need to be improved, heightened, etc. - Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Department 's of Agriculture
  • Recommend provincial dykeland management strategies - New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Department's of Agriculture
  • Recommend modifications to existing Municipal and Rural Plan to identified climate change hazards and risks - Atlantic Planning Teams (including municipalities and planning commissions)

Short-Term Outcomes/Deliverables

  • Proposed changes to the Town of Sackville Municipal Plan
  • Proposed changes to the Town of Amherst, Nova Scotia Municipal Plans/bylaws
  • Proposed recommendations to be incorporated into the proposed Rural Plan (the area outside the Town of Sackville, New Brunswick)
  • Recommendations for a Provincial Dykeland Management Strategy for New Brunswick
  • Recommendation for a Provincial Dykeland Management Strategy for Nova Scotia
  • Recommended policy changes for the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation
  • Model land use by-law for the Town of Sackville, NB and Amherst, NS
  • Land use development Adaptation Review Process Checklist
  • Digital Elevation Model of the study area
  • Flood Risk Assessment Map for the dykelands and Town of Sackville, Town of Amherst and parts of the Cumberland Basin
  • Identification of hazard zones
  • Building capacity to understand risks and vulnerabilities with local municipal staff, planners and engineers, and provincial staff
  • This project contributes to the overall deliverables of the Atlantic RAC by proposing recommendations to both local and provincial policies, contributes to approaches and methodologies for tool that can be used in other Atlantic communities including to an Atlantic wide tool kit.

Long-Term Outcomes/ Deliverables

  • Changes made to the Town of Sackville Municipal Plan - community will be able to manage land uses within the context of climate change.
  • Changes made to the Tantramar Rural Plan - able to manage land uses in the rural areas outside the municipality within the context of climate change.
  • Possibly a dykelands management strategy for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Presently, both provinces do not have a long-term management strategy for increasing or improving the dykelands. The provinces do not have sufficient information on what the future conditions will be, this study will provide this essential information.
  • Possibly a long-term management strategy for the location, construction and upgrading of the Trans-Canada highway to withstand future climate conditions in the area. For example, the requirement to raise the highway, or install larger culverts, or build higher bridges due to possible future flooding conditions.

Collaborators/Partners

  • Town of Sackville, New Brunswick
  • Town of Amherst, Nova Scotia
  • Cumberland District Municipality
  • Tantramar District Planning Commission , NB
  • New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture
  • Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture
  • Nova Scotia Department of Transportation
  • Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office
  • New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization
  • Saint Mary's University
  • Mount Allison University
  • Environment Canada
  • University of New Brunswick
  • Applied Geomatics Research Group, Nova Scotia Community College
  • Dalhousie University Planning School
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • Environment Canada
2. Acadian Peninsula Project

Adaptation Issue and Background

  • Coastal Flooding and Coastal Change (sea-level rise, storm surge, erosion and sedimentation): Risk to Infrastructure.
  • The communities in the Acadian Peninsula were chose due to the fact they are presently experiencing severe changes and impacts from climate change. The communities have been trying to address these issues on their own with little success and are presently ready to make the necessary changes. The results from these three communities can be used in other communities in Northeast New Brunswick and in other parts of Atlantic Canada. The communities participating in this project are some-what unique but also share similar issues to other Atlantic coastal communities in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. All of these communities are low-lying, highly vulnerable, presently experiencing coastal erosion, coastal flooding and salt water intrusion. One community of the communities selected is located below sea-level and is being protected by a quickly eroding sand dune. Once the approach is used in these specific communities it can be transfer to other communities throughout Atlantic Canada in similar geographic conditions. They will serve as a case study or example for other communities not only on the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick but also along the eastern shore of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The idea is to work with those communities that are already experiencing issues, already attempting to adapt and are willing to work with a group of collaborators from Atlantic Canada to find solutions and to share their results.

Project Description

  • Map portions of the Peninsula using LIDAR to create a digital elevation model (DEM)
  • Determine future climate predictions and sea-level rise
  • Determine coastal erosion rates in the three selected communities
  • Model sea-level rise and erosion using the DEM
  • Identify infrastructure and buildings at risk due to present and future flooding
  • Recommend adaptation solutions
  • Recommend modifications to existing Municipal Plans to address identified hazards
  • Create a check list for proposed projects and infrastructure - development approval process, subdivision reviews, and rezoning

Short-Term Outcomes/Deliverables

  • Proposed changes to the Municipal Land Use Plans for the communities of Shippagan, Le Goulet and Bas-Caraquet
  • Create a Model land use by-law that can be shared with other communities
  • Development Adaptation Review Process Checklist to be used by municipal and planning staff to evaluate projects on a day to day basis
  • Digital Elevation Model of a portion of the Acadian Peninsula (Le Goulet to Grande Anse)
  • Flood Risk Assessment Map
  • Identification of hazard zones
  • Determine appropriate adaptation solutions including proposed changes to Municipal Land Use Plans
  • Building capacity to understand the risk and vulnerabilities of the Acadian Peninsula with municipal staff, planners and engineers.
  • A workshop for municipalities on the Acadian Peninsula on adaptation - show case and share the learning's of the projects and tools from the RAC
  • The information and approaches from this project builds on other Atlantic RAC projects by contributing to the Atlantic tool kit, contributing to approaches and methods that can be used by other Atlantic communities.

Long-Term Outcomes/ Deliverables

  • The information from this study can be used by Provincial Departments such as Transportation, Public Safety, Natural Resources, Health, and Environment to better plan land uses, infrastructure such as roads, bridges, municipal wells, industrial and commercial uses. The study will assist informing the New Brunswick Coastal Areas Protection Policy. It will help determine if change are required to better protect coastal property and those living along the coast. The project will also assist the Department of Public Safety in terms of developing approaches to emergency management in coastal communities in New Brunswick which can be used as examples for other areas of Atlantic Canada. The approach and results can be used by other communities throughout Atlantic Canada. As the process unfolds there will be collaboration with other RAC partners in the four Atlantic Provinces. This will be done using the RAC Technical Teams and RAC Planning Teams as well as the RAC Steering Committee.
  • It is expected that the Town of Shippagan, Village of Le Goulet and Village of Bas-Caraquet have implemented recommended land use adaptation solutions, that the province is using the information to make informed decisions about infrastructure such as roads, water and sewage services, etc.
  • It is expected that other communities in the Acadian Pennisula have learned from the three selected communities and have begun to work with the District Planning Commission to make the necessary changes to their land use plans and community development approaches.

Collaborators/Partners

  • Town of Bas-Caraquet
  • Town of Shippagan
  • Village of Le Goulet
  • Commission D'Amenagement de la Péninsule Acadien
  • New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources
  • University of Moncton - Shippagan and Moncton campuses
  • Association of Francophone Municipalities of New Brunswick
  • Coastal Zone Researche Institute Inc.
  • Environment Canada
  • University of New Brunswick
  • New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization
3. Greater Moncton Project

Adaptation Issue and Background

  • Coastal Flooding and Coastal Change (Sea-level rise, storm surge, erosion and sedimentation): Risk to Infrastructure and Inland Flooding: Risk to infrastructure (precipitation, erosion/sedimentation. This area was chosen as it is a highly urbanized location with three municipalities which are presently experiencing flooding from both the coast (Bay of Fundy with the highest tides in the world) and from inland watercourses and extreme precipitation events. Greater Moncton had been devastated by the Saxby Gale which caused tremendous flooding in the 1800's, the communities are very concerned about a repeat of this disaster. The three communities are very interested doing long-term adaptation planning and making the necessary changes to the municipal plans and infrastructure programs. This project will provide municipal and provincial officials with information on how to address adaptation in a highly urbanized and built environment. This will provide a good example for other parts of Atlantic Canada. Information and approaches used throughout the process will be shared across the Atlantic Canada using the RAC Technical Teams, RAC Planning Teams and the RAC Steering Committee. What is learned in Greater Moncton can be applied to other urban centres in New Brunswick and throughout Atlantic Canada such as in Halifax or St. John's. It will contribute to the greater knowledge and serve as a case study to all of Atlantic Canada in addressing climate change in an urban setting.

Project Description

  • Map Greater Moncton (Moncton, Dieppe, Riverview) using LIDAR to create a digital elevation model (DEM)
  • Determine future climate predictions and sea-level rise
  • Model sea-level rise using the DEM
  • Model potential inland flood water (surface water areas)
  • Identify dykes, infrastructure and buildings at risk due to present and future flooding
  • Recommend adaptation solutions such as dyke upgrades, key areas where dykes need to be improved, heightened, etc.
  • Determine risks and vulnerabilities to the existing storm water and sewage system
  • Propose recommended adaptation solutions to alleviate risks and vulnerabilities to the existing storm water and waste water system
  • Recommend modifications to existing Municipal Plans to identified hazards
  • Create a check list for proposed projects and infrastructure - development approval process, subdivision reviews, and rezoning

Short-term Outcomes/Deliverables

  • Proposed changes to the City of Moncton Municipal Plan; City of Dieppe Municipal Plan and Town of Riverview Municipal Plan
  • Development Adaptation Review Process Checklist
  • Digital Elevation Model
  • Flood Risk Assessment Map Greater Moncton
  • Identification of hazard zones
  • Proposed adaptation solutions such as new design standards, land use by laws, etc.
  • Workshop with municipal staff, planners and engineers regarding risks, and vulnerabilities
  • Building capacity to understand the risks and vulnerabilities in Greater Moncton with municipal staff, planners and engineers.
  • This project contributes approaches to storm water management, coastal flooding tools and approaches to an Atlantic wide tool kit. As well it helps to inform and influence both local and provincial policy.

Long-term Outcomes/Deliverables

  • It is expected that the three communities will incorporation of climate change into the municipal land use plans.
  • Long-term management plans for municipal infrastructure in the City of Moncton, City of Dieppe and Town of Riverview which incorporates adapting to climate change
  • Updates to the emergency plans for the three municipalities which includes adapting to climate change.
  • Potential changes to the New Brunswick Coastal Areas Protection Policy to better address adaptation in an urban setting.
  • It is expected that the communities in Greater Moncton will have been able to teach other municipalities in Atlantic Canada about how they have adapted to a changing climate.

Collaborators/Partners

  • City of Moncton
  • City of Dieppe
  • Town of Riverview
  • Greater Moncton Planning Commission
  • Greater Moncton Sewage Commission
  • New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture
  • New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization
  • Environment Canada
  • University of New Brunswick
  • Dalhousie University Planning School

Town of Richibucto Salt Water Intrusion Project

Adaptation Issue and Background

  • Coastal Flooding and Coastal Change (Sea-level rise, storm surge, erosion and sedimentation): Risk to Infrastructure and Inland Flooding.
  • This project will test a salt water intrusion model and provide information to a municipality and province regarding the long-term sustainability of potable water in a coastal community. The Town of Richibucto, NB presently has potable water issues and challenges with salt water intrusion. Some information has been collected in the past and the municipality is struggling with defining the appropriate location of future municipal well. This project will not only test an approach to assist coastal communities but to also provide an approach that can be replicated in other coastal communities in New Brunswick and to assist in informing a provincial coastal community potable well strategy. Many coastal communities in New Brunswick and other parts of Atlantic Canada struggle with salt water intrusion and it is expect with sea-level rise this will increase. Without potable water many coastal communities will become not sustainable requiring provinces to find other ways to provide potable water to residents.

Project Description

  • Test an existing salt water intrusion model (developed by Saint Francis Xavier University) to model present and future impacts to the aquifer and potable water supplies to sea-level rise. The model used in this project will be tested at the same time in all four Atlantic Provinces. Each project will be slightly different in terms of physical context. In the end, the model will be applicable to many different physical community types and therefore, applicable to many other places in Atlantic Canada.

Short-term Outcomes/Deliverables

  • Make recommendations for the location of the Town of Richibucto municipal well (potable water supply for the community)
  • Advance New Brunswick's knowledge regarding the impact of sea-level rise and salt water intrusion on wells in coastal communities
  • Test an salt water intrusion model that can be applied in other parts of New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada
  • Model is being tested in other communities in the Atlantic Provinces
  • Build capacity in New Brunswick to both use this model and to conduct similar studies in other communities in New Brunswick.
  • This project contributes to the overall Atlantic wide deliverables by testing a salt water intrusion model which can be used in other locations in Atlantic Canada; contribute to an overall Atlantic wide toolkit and influences local and provincial policy.

Long-term Outcomes/Deliverables

  • The long-term outcome is a potential provincial policy or strategy on the location of potable wells along coastal communities in New Brunswick.
  • This project will increase the knowledge of both provincial and municipal officials who work for or in coastal communities.
  • It is expected that the Town of Richibucto has determined a suitable location for a sustainable potable water supply for its residents.

Collaborators/Partners

  • Town of Richibucto, New Brunswick
  • University of New Brunswick
  • New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization
  • New Brunswick Department of Environment

4. Town of Grand Falls, New Brunswick Project

Adaptation Issue

  • Risk to Infrastructure and Inland Flooding: Risk to infrastructure (precipitation, erosion/sedimentation).
  • The Town of Grand Falls has been experiencing more frequent flooding and inland erosion along the river. They are very interested in looking at methodologies which may reduce their impacts from intense precipitation events and erosion along the river. Presently, the Town experiences erosion along the St. John River which impacts the communities land uses, infrastructure, and built environment. This project provides a great example of a community that needs to adapt to erosion along an inland watercourse, which is exacerbated by extreme precipitation events, storm water management and land uses. This project will provide a great case study for other inland water communities (located along rivers and other watercourses). The results, approaches and methodologies will be shared among the four Atlantic Provinces.

Project Description

  • Examine present and future erosion sites along the St. John River
  • Model the surface water run-off in the Town and it's contribution to erosion along the St. John River within the municipal boundaries.
  • Examine the land use activities which contribute to surface water run-off and erosion
  • Assess present and future risks and vulnerabilities to property along the Gorge and St. John River to erosion.
  • Identify appropriate adaptation solutions including and possibly policy changes, and new design standards

Short-term Outcomes/Deliverables

  • Proposed changes to Town of Grand Falls Municipal Plan
  • Propose a storm water run-off management plan
  • Proposed changes to land use activities along the St. John River
  • This project provides an approach to addressing erosion along an inland waterway, which is exacerbated by extreme precipitation events and land use activities. This approach can be added to the Atlantic wide tool kit for use by other communities. A key outcome or deliverable is also influencing local and provincial policy regarding land uses and storm water management.

Long-term Outcomes/Deliverables

  • The Town of Grand Falls will have incorporated recommended changes into their Municipal Plan. Land use activities and infrastructure will be located or relocated away from potential hazard zones
  • The Town will have a storm water management plan which incorporates climate change issues such as more intense precipitation events and increased run-off.
  • Grand Falls will serve as an example to other communities in Atlantic Canada as a success story on addressing issues related to flooding, and erosion along watercourses.

Collaborators/Partners

  • Town of Grand Falls
  • La Vallée District Planning Commission
  • New Brunswick Department of Environment
  • New Brunswick Department of Public Safety
  • Knowledge Transfer in Atlantic Canada

5. Atlantic Planners Institute Annual Conference (2010)

Adaptation Issue

  • Lack of understanding of climate change adaptation by Atlantic Planners

Project Description

  • Provide knowledge, information to professional planners about climate change adaptation through presentations and workshops during the annual general meeting. This will include information about the RAC projects

Outcomes/Deliverables

  • Improved knowledge and skill of professional land use planners in Atlantic Canada
  • Exchange of information on appropriate approaches and methodologies for land use planning for adaptation in Atlantic Canada
  • Capacity building of professional planners in Atlantic Canada
  • The Atlantic RAC will provide financial assistance as well as key speakers and support to the planners so they may host a conference on adapting to climate change. It will serve as an opportunity to show case the Atlantic RAC projects to exchange information on approaches and methods appropriate for the challenges in Atlantic Canada.

Collaborators/Partners

  • Atlantic Planners Institute
  • New Brunswick Department of Environment
  • Nova Scotia Department of Environment
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Environment and Conservation
  • Prince Edward Island Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry
  • Canadian Institute of Planners

6. Professional Engineers and Geo-Scientists Annual Conference

Adaptation Issue

  • Lack of knowledge of climate change adaptation

Project Description

  • Provide knowledge, information to professional planners about climate change adaptation through presentations and workshops during the annual general meeting. This will include information about the RAC projects.

Outcomes/Deliverables

  • Improved knowledge and skill of professional engineers in Atlantic Canada
  • The Atlantic RAC will provide financial assistance as well as key speakers and support to the engineers so they may host a conference on adapting to climate change. It will serve as an opportunity to show case the Atlantic RAC projects to exchange information on approaches and methods appropriate for the challenges in Atlantic Canada.

Collaborators/Partners

  • New Brunswick Department of Environment
  • Nova Scotia Department of Environment
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Environment and Conservation
  • Prince Edward Island Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry
  • New Brunswick Association of Professional Engineers and Geo-scientists
  • Nova Scotia Association of Professional Engineers
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Professional Engineers and Geo-scientists
  • Prince Edward Island Association of Professional Engineers

 

7. Municipal Associations Annual General Meetings

Adaptation Issue

  • Lack of knowledge of climate change adaptation

Project Description

  • Provide knowledge, information municipal officials about climate change adaptation through presentations and workshops during the annual general meeting. This will include information about the RAC projects.

Outcomes/Deliverables

  • Improved knowledge and skill of municipal officials of New Brunswick
  • Building the capacity of municipalities in Atlantic Canada
  • The Atlantic RAC will provide financial assistance as well as key speakers and support to the municipal officials so they may host a conference on adapting to climate change. It will serve as an opportunity to show case the Atlantic RAC projects to exchange information on approaches and methods appropriate for the challenges in Atlantic Canada.

Collaborators/Partners

  • New Brunswick Department of Environment
  • Nova Scotia Department of Environment
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Environment and Conservation
  • Prince Edward Island Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry
  • New Brunswick Association of Francophone Municipalities
  • Union of New Brunswick Municipalities
  • Cities Association of New Brunswick
  • Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities
  • Federation of PEI Municipalities
  • Municipalities Newfoundland & Labrador (MNL)