Healthy Oceans. Healthy Communities.

Sea level rise

Diagram describes the effect sea level rise

Climate change is impacting our communities at a faster rate each year with costlier environmental, social and economical consequences.  Population growth, destructive industrial processes and pressure on declining natural resources impair the planet’s ability to function efficiently leading to an increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere (GHG’s). Generally speaking, greenhouse gases are compounds that are able to trap heat in the atmosphere, warming the air temperature.  In turn, that higher temperature melts land ice and warms oceans, causing the ocean to literally expand (called thermal expansion), resulting in sea level rise.

Sea level rise is not a distant futuristic scenario anymore: it is already impacting coastal communities around the world.  A complex set of variables converge to make these impacts difficult to predict. However, there is one statistic that experts agree on; the sea level rising to 0.5m by 2050 and to a 1m in 2100.  This disturbing fact has repercussions for the communities living along the Canadian coast, which sometimes represent a high percentage of the population.

What can be done in the light of these statistics?  How can we prepare effectively to face sea level rise?  For smaller coastal communities with few resources (financial, technical or otherwise), what steps can be taken to safely address sea level rise?

Living Oceans Society is part of a project to address this issue, in partnership with the Ecology Action Centre and  the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. This project aims to engage smaller coastal and First Nations communities about sea level rise by offering workshops. We expect to better equip these communities with the right information, tools and techniques to start to plan for sea level rise.

An interactive map on the project website captures observations submitted by individuals on all the coasts and will become a useful bank of information for future planning projects.

These workshops will be given in the fall/winter of 2018 and will engage both FIrst Nations and coastal communities.  Check the sea level rise web page and learn about climate change impacts on our oceans.


For more information on sea level rise, contact

Claude Tremblay:  ctremblay [at]