Port Elgin is vulnerable to several climate change hazards and impacts including sea level rise, changing precipitation patterns, more frequent and severe storms, coastal erosion and major storm surges. Between 2010 and 2015, Port Elgin conducted six collaborative community-based adaptation planning sessions to assess these local climate change impacts, risks and vulnerabilities. The assessments were led by a planning committee which included representatives from EOS Eco-Energy, the Southeast Regional Service Commission, the Village’s Emergency Measures Organization (EMO), a village councillor and the members of the Port Elgin community. Subject matter experts were also engaged to provide a wide range of locally relevant impact and scenario data to aid committee members with the planning process. Including:
- Environment Canada presented current climate science including predictions for temperature, sea level rise and severe weather events.
- EOS Eco-Energy and Tantramar Climate Change Adaptation Collaborative presented the current state of the dykes, flood scenarios and emergency preparedness
- Mount Allison University presented flood scenarios based on projections of sea level rise and storm events – e.g., a current 1:25 storm (as was experienced in 2010) and a 1:100 storm in the year 2100.
- Tantramar Planning District Commission presented the results from their 2011 vulnerability assessment
- The Insurance Bureau of Canada and New Brunswick Department of Environment presented policies and regulations related to coastline damage that would also support the planning process.
- The Port Elgin sustainability plan (Picture Port Elgin, 2011) was also used to derive further vulnerabilities for the integrated vulnerability assessment for the village.
Throughout the planning sessions committee members Committee members used the provided data and tools to identify, map and record vulnerable community assets and economic impacts (e.g., damage and loss of services at lifts stations, nursing homes, schools, fire department, bridges, trails, wharf, downtown business district), natural assets (e.g., damage to coastlines, degraded water quality) and social impacts (e.g., risks to vulnerable populations, damage to cultural heritage sites, health effects). General public input and feedback were also encouraged and collected via workshop participation, two public engagement sessions as well as through social media, phone calls and information booths at public events.