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Coastal Flood Hazards: CFAS

Waters close to shore

Learn about the hazardous impacts climate change and sea level rise can have on coastlines

The changing climate means that the historic controls that have been put in place to limit flood damages will not work in future. As a leader in climate adaptation, Surrey initiated studies to look at how the city’s coastal floodplain could be impacted by sea level rise and climate change induced changing rainfall patterns. These studies have shown that the existing infrastructure will protect against large storms in the future.

Without changes, some of the hazards that could be expected in the future include:  

  • Flooding of residential and agricultural areas, short-term, and long-term in the event of dike breaches or other more catastrophic flood events.
  • Damage to homes and businesses
  • In agricultural communities land flooded by ocean water may cause soil salination, reducing agricultural production for many years.

Coastal flooding can also threaten the infrastructure and transportation systems that cross Surrey’s coastal floodplain. Disruptions to road and rail networks will be dissruptive and damaging. The potential also exists for, longer term, impacts to important infrastructure like water, waste water, and other utilities.

Coastal Squeeze

Ecosystems will be impacted from sea level rise with intertidal areas being reduced as illustrated here:

Animation of coastal squeeze

As we move forward in the CFAS process, there are many pathways to consider:

Adaptation Pathways

    Collapse/Expand All
  • Protect expand
  • Protect

    Build or raise structures to keep floodwaters out.

    Graphic showing protect, which is to build or raise structures to keep floodwaters out

  • Accomodate expand
  • Accomodate

    Make changes to human activities and/or buildings and infrastructure to improve resilience to increased flooding.

    Graphic showing accommodate option, which is making changes to human activities and/or buildings and infrastructure to improve resilience

  • Retreat/Realignment expand
  • Retreat/Realignment

    Plan for the eventual relocation of people and buildings currently in portions of the floodplain. 

    Graphic showing retreat, which is the eventual relocation of people or buildings

  • Combination expand
  • Combination

    Utilize a combination of adaptation pathways.

    Graphic utilizing a combination of adaptation pathways

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Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy

To help protect our coastal communities, we're developing a Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy.