CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C- The city just got the go-ahead to prepare for a rise in sea levels on the waterfront.

According to a press release from the City of Campbell River, recommendations from the City’s Waterfront Task Force were given the green light in a review from “sea level rise specialists.”

The Province of British Columbia advises communities to plan for one metre of sea level rise by the year 2100, and two metres by 2200.

As part of an ongoing planning initiative to prepare for sea level rise along the marine and river shores, the City reviewed the task force’s vision for the 3.5-acre site, located at 1300 Old Island Highway.

Amber Zirnhelt, long range planning and sustainability manager for the city, said there are many factors in the decision.

“Campbell River already has a history of storm and tide-related temporary flooding in low-lying areas, and given climate change predictions, we anticipate that this currently vacant area will be subject to temporary localized flooding,” says Zirnhelt.

“Working with specialists, we’ve confirmed that adaptation could minimize the depth and the duration of the flooding to manageable levels.”

Some of the adaptations may include setting primary structures back from the shoreline, keeping habitable spaces at highest potential water level, drainage that deals with wave spray from flooding and nourishing the beach to raise the elevation of the “proposed beach pocket.”

Proposed plans for the 3.5-acre site, which were developed through public consultation during summer 2017, would maintain large parts of the property as public space with an urban park, an aquarium, entertainment areas, a salmon research centre, a venue for cultural events and conferences, meeting rooms, a market and a restaurant.

To keep the community updated on upcoming studies and events related to sea level rise, the City is launching a new webpage. For more information on Campbell River Rising Seas, and to register for email updates on the project, visit campbellriver.ca/SLR-Overview.