Sea Level Rise

Sea level rise

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Sea level rise is caused by the ocean expanding as it heats up due to global warming and as major stores of ice from glaciers and ice sheets melt.

Around the world, sea level rise and flood-related events are causing billions of dollars in damage. Cities are responding with efforts to enhance their communities’ resilience to flooding. Vancouver is planning for this now, to prevent impacts of major catastrophes and to avoid major costs down the road.

What we're expecting

Vancouver's sea levels are expected to rise 1 meter within the next 100 years.

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Predicted sea level rise from 1950 - 2100.

Source: Province of BC's draft guidelines on flood management under a changing climate and a primer on sea level rise External website

Map of sea levels, 2016 and 2100, if no adaptation measures are implemented

Sea level image showing 2016 conditions Projected sea level rise during extreme storm in 2100



English Bay

Kits Beach



Stanley Park


What we're doing to respond to sea level rise

  • We commissioned the Coastal Flood Risk Assessment in order to better understand flooding risk for today and in various future scenario, and to develop and compare preliminary adaptation options
  • In 2014, we updated the Building Bylaw to include floodplain standards and requirements for floodplain areas
  • We have been working with the BC Storm Surge Forecasting Program, which provides storm surge forecasts
  • All new coastline projects are incorporating coastal flood risk information to ensure resilient design
  • We will be asking the public for input on sea level rise response options over the coming year

What you can do

By 2050, our winter high tides will be more like today’s annual king tide.

Learn about king tides


Coastal Flood Risk Assessment background

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