For Nova Scotians, their coastline is priceless. It is closely linked to the economy, way of life, and cultural history of Nova Scotia. They depend on it not just for development but also for leisure, travel, and tourism, for maintaining fisheries, and as a habitat for creatures that live along the shore. All Nova Scotians are encouraged to make sure that the coastline can continue to provide its citizens shelter, sustenance, employment, and entertainment.
Not only will planning for climate change, rising sea levels, and more intense storms save money, but it will also lessen the risk to infrastructure and human lives. According to statistics from the United Nations, every dollar spent now on proactive climate adaptation might later save up to $7 in relief and recovery costs. Halifax sustained damage totaling more than $100 million as a result of Hurricane Juan. With dangerous storm occurrences occurring more frequently, investing in preventative measures is a better use of public funds.
The Coastal Protection Act was passed in 2019. It was established by the government to safeguard natural ecosystems and ensure that newly constructed homes and businesses are more secure from coastal erosion, coastal flooding, and sea level rise. In order to determine the precise operation of the Act, the government consulted Nova Scotians. The What We Heard report contains the outcomes of the consultation.
The act would establish a coastal protection zone if regulations are created and approved. This will control all construction on land that is a set distance from the shore. People wanting to develop within the coastal zone will obtain a minimum horizontal setback from the water and be obliged to fulfill minimum building elevation above sea level standards through the use of property-specific evaluations performed by qualified specialists under the Act. This is a great technique to deal with and control Nova Scotia’s diverse coastline geography.
For more than a decade, the Ecology Action Centre (EAC) has been working with organizations, coastal community members, and the public toward the realization of this vital legislation. In order to find the best methods for putting the Act into operation, the EAC is collaborating with organizations both domestically and abroad.
The EAC also pledged that they’ll be a voice for local governments all around the province and will make sure that regulations specifically address urgent problems.
For more information about this Act, visit https://ecologyaction.ca/our-work/coastal-water/coastal-protection-act
Photo by Saidamir Mukhitdinov: https://www.pexels.com/photo/crashing-waves-on-the-rocky-shore-11542368/