The Town of Mahone Bay’s 2013 Municipal Climate Change Action Plan identified the climate hazards that were expected to occur more frequently in the future, including coastal and inland flooding, and extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, winter storms, heat waves, and drought. These hazards will likely result in increased flooding, coastal erosion, and contaminated stormwater runoff entering the harbour.
A 2016 study examined how future sea level rise would impact coastal flooding and storm surges in Mahone Bay. Sea level rise projections were obtained from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and were based on regional projections from the IPCC Fifth Assessment under the business-as-usual RCP 8.5 scenario. According to projections, Mahone Bay could experience 0.53 m of sea level rise by 2065 and 1.08 m by 2100. Sea level rise projections were then applied to stormwater and storm surge levels to determine maximum water levels in 2045, 2065, 2100, and 2115. In 2015, Mahone Bay’s higher water high tide was 1.52 m and the stormwater/storm surge levels ranged from 1.86 – 2.67 m, with Hurricane Juan representing the maximum upper bound of 3.02 m. Based on calculations incorporating sea level rise, by 2065, Mahone Bay could face higher water high tide at 2.05 m and stormwater/storm surge levels ranging from 2.39 – 3.20 m. A hurricane like Hurricane Juan could result in up to a 3.55 m storm surge. The project website includes an interactive flood map of the immediate area that can be used to visualize the effects of tide and storm surges both with and without installing a living shoreline.