Climate change is affecting our oceans and we must adapt to ensure our coastlines are protected.
Today, March 12, Environment Minister Margaret Miller introduced a new Coastal Protection Act that will ensure clear provincewide rules for what can and cannot be done on Nova Scotia’s vulnerable coastlines.
“Climate change means rising sea levels, greater risk of flooding and coastal erosion. We need to protect the natural ecosystems that help defend our coasts, and this legislation will help us do that,” said Ms. Miller.
“At the same time, we want to ensure that any new coastal construction is built in locations safer from storm surges and sea level rise. This legislation will do that as well.”
Salt marshes, dunes and other coastal features filter water, shelter birds and sea life, and allow the coast to naturally adapt to the impact of climate change.
“This legislation is a crucial step toward protecting our coastal ecosystems by preventing future inappropriate coastal development. Protecting our coastline will allow it to adapt and be resilient,” said Nancy Anningson, coastal adaptation senior co-ordinator with the Ecology Action Centre.
Last summer, the province received just over 1,300 responses to an online survey on coastal protection legislation. It also held 16 in-person sessions with stakeholder groups and reached out directly to fisheries and agriculture groups, First Nations and others.
A report on the results of the consultation is available here, novascotia.ca/coast .
The department will continue to work closely with municipalities and others to develop the regulations that will define how this legislation will work.
Source : Media Release