The Forillon Peninsula’s location and condition makes it particularly vulnerable to climate change hazards and coastal erosion. This problem has been known for many years. At the start of the 20th century, residents built a road along the upper beach in the Cap-des-Rosiers area. In 1926, the coastal road was officially constructed between the lighthouse and the Cap-des-Rosiers harbour, directly on the active part of the upper beach. Soon, the new road needed to be protected by stone-filled timber cribs and, over time, additional protective structures, such as a wooden wall and a stone embankment, were built to protect the route from inclement weather. More recently, riprap was installed along an approximately two-kilometre stretch in 1980 and a concrete wall was built in the 1990s. Coastal erosion and damage to the road and associated infrastructure have been particularly severe since the mid-1990s, with the protective structures no longer adequate. In 2011, part of the road had to be relocated due to a large breach in the riprap and damage to a 15,000-V volt electrical cable. The road relocation project was carried out over seven years, from 2015 to 2021.
The area located between Cap-des-Rosiers and the tip of Cape Gaspé in Forillon National Park is a unique environment. It is located along the park’s eastern coastline, facing the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Forillon Peninsula is particularly vulnerable to climate change and coastal erosion, and recurring damage to the park’s infrastructure has been documented over the past decades. As a result, several studies have been conducted on the subject, and the knowledge acquired in these studies has been used to guide park managers in selecting restoration options to be prioritized. The overall approach adopted in the project uses adaptive management, with decision-making based on solid scientific evidence that takes into account the environment’s specific characteristics, natural dynamics, and forecasts of changes in these processes over time. The purpose of the project was to restore the natural dynamics of the coastal/marine ecosystem in the Cap-des-Rosiers area and to protect and enhance the associated natural and cultural resources. The project also generated additional knowledge about the history of local communities, as well as providing an opportunity to redevelop the commemorative burial site for the victims of the Carricks shipwreck, to give their descendants a place to gather and remember them.