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CFAS Overview

Surrey is preparing for climate change with a three-year Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy

The Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy (CFAS) is taking a participatory, community-driven planning approach to exploring the impacts of climate change on Surrey’s coastline, and the long-term adaption options available to our City.

The project will engage residents, stakeholders, and other partners, including First Nations, community and environmental organizations, business associations and groups, senior governments, farmers and the agricultural community, and neighbouring jurisdictions in them.

Download the CFAS Primer

CFAS Process

The CFAS project is broken into five phases that are illustrated below along with a general project timeline.

Right now we are in Phase 2 and 3 where we want to find out what can we do and what is acceptable?

The development of Surrey’s Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy is organized around a participatory, stakeholder-driven decision process. This approach will link the five project phases together and ensure that the overall process for arriving at a set of preferred strategies is robust, transparent, and defensible.

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  • Phase 1: What matters most and who is affected? expand
  • Phase 1: What matters most and who is affected?

    (Summer 2016 – Spring 2017) 

    This phase developed hazard communication materials to communicate current and future flood risks across the study area to all stakeholder group.  A series of workshops, an online survey and an open house helped identify preliminary community values to support the evaluation of flood protection alternatives.

    CFAS Phase 1


  • Phase 2 and 3: What can we do and what is acceptable expand
  • Phase 2 and 3: What can we do and what is acceptable

    (Fall 2017 – Winter 2018) 

    In this phase, adaptation options are envisioned, refined and evaluated. This is a highly technical phase to assess the appropriateness of a wide range of adaptation options across engineering, economic, social, cultural and ecological indicators. Adaptation strategies are being refined with stakeholder and partner input. A project Advisory Group of more than 30 organizations was established to assist in refining strategies and refining options.

    CFAS Phase 2 and 3

  • Phase 4: How will we do it? expand
  • Phase 4: How will we do it?

    (Spring 2018 – Summer 2018) 

    In this phase, a small number of robust, broadly supported adaptation strategies with phasing are refined into preferred strategies based on cost, funding and partnerships.

    CFAS Phase 4 process


  • Phase 5: Reporting back expand
  • Phase 5: Reporting back

    (Summer 2018 – Fall 2018) 

    In this phase, the final reporting and visual materials for broad dissemination are developed and delivered through broad communications.

    CFAS Phase 5



Coastal cities face numerous challenges as a result of climate change and, more specifically, sea level rise. Regardless of possible reductions in future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the planet is already ‘locked in’ to some climate changes.

Projected impacts for coastal communities include increased higher sea levels, increased frequency and intensity of storms and storm surges (when water is pushed ashore by wind and waves), more erosion of coastlines, impacts on infrastructure, loss of beaches and coastal ecosystems, soil salinization, and groundwater pooling. The Province of British Columbia advises municipalities to plan for at least 1 metre of sea level rise over the next 80 years.

Find out more about Surrey's coastal floodplain, and some of the approaches available for Surrey to consider.