Coastal development challenges around accelerated erosion, biodiversity losses, storm surge flooding and climate change (e.g., sea level rise) combined with socio-demographic trends provide a degree of urgency in seeking sustainable solutions for shorelines that do not rely on engineered structures alone. Pilot applications of Green Shores and Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI), in particular, are contributing to the proof of concept needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of nature-based solutions to address development pressures on coastal ecosystems and climate change together. Nevertheless, “on the ground” implementation relative to conventional engineered structures remains limited. The Stewardship Centre for BC (SCBC) is interested in identifying improvements to Green Shores’ application in British Columbia and exploring the scaling potential of the Green Shores model to Atlantic Canada. Since its origins in 2010, Green Shores has advanced to a point where program managers, supporters, participants in program activities, and the wider communities involved have an appreciation for what works and does not work in encouraging the sustainable use of shoreline ecosystems. In April 2018, the SCBC engaged ESSA Technologies Ltd. (ESSA) to assist the organization in understanding and documenting the impact, value and scaling potential of SCBC’s services related to Green Shores. Project objectives include: develop and apply an evaluation framework that incorporates the social, environmental, economic value of Green Shores; identify potential improvements to current Green Shores offerings; Assess the potential to replicate Green Shores in the Atlantic region; and, make recommendations for future action.
The Stewardship Centre for BC’s Green Shores® program offers tangible solutions for the implementation of natural shorelines in developed areas, and provides a way of addressing development impacts, including habitat loss and pollution, and climate change challenges (e.g., sea level rise) that are affecting the health of shoreline ecosystems and the ecological services flowing from them. This assessment focuses on the Green Shores program and draws from multiple lines of evidence to address this issue. Currently, functioning in BC, Green Shores is a voluntary incentive program that encourages soft shoreline development through a combination of capacity building, tools and best practice standards for planning, design and construction professionals, local government staff and property owners. This report presents qualitative and quantitative information on the impact and social, environmental and economic value of Green Shores programming for communities in BC and provides recommendations to improve Green Shores’ reach in Canada.