Sea level risen and waves are crash over a flooded park bench

Adapting to sea level rise

Expected future changes

The province of BC currently advises cities to plan for:  

  • Half a metre of sea level rise by 2050 
  • One meter by 2100

Learn more about expected sea level changes (163 KB)

Globally, sea levels are rising because of a combination of melting glaciers and thermal expansion of sea water from warmer temperatures.

In Vancouver, 1 meter of sea level rise would result in 13 square kilometres of land being in the floodplain.

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

Legend

  • Icon image of buildings Downtown
  • Icon image of waves English Bay
  • Icon image of a beach umbrella Kits Beach
  • Icon immage of an airplane Airport
  • Icon image of a ferris wheel PNE
  • Icon image of trees Stanley Park
  • Icon image of a university building UBC

Building the future we want

 A city that is resilient to sea-level rise means:

  • Safer shorelines and continued access to treasured coastal areas
  • Planning for the future with a citywide coastal adaptation and flood management policy
  • Trying out creative approaches to coastal resilience, such as nature-based solutions

Help us document rising sea levels

Take photos of king tides or coastal flooding in Vancouver. These photos will help us better understand how the shoreline is changing.

Email your photos to sealevelrise@vancouver.ca or post to social and tag us @greenestcity.

What you can do

Learn from experts

We hosted a series of lectures with SFU to discuss how Vancouver will be impacted and what we can do to prepare.

Opportunities for climate leaders

Learn about City programs that will help you reduce your carbon footprint at home and work, find volunteer opportunities, and more.

How much do you know about sea level rise?

By City of Vancouver

Take our short quiz to test your knowledge.

  • Question one

    By City of Vancouver

    How many meters of sea level rise are we planning for by 2100?

  • Answer one

    By City of Vancouver

    We are planning for one meter of sea rise for 2100. The Province of BC provided this projection for local municipalities.

  • Question two

    By City of Vancouver

    Sea level rise is partially caused by the melting of land ice and ice sheets adding water to our oceans. What causes this phenomenon?

  • Answer two

    By City of Vancouver

    High levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere, leading to rising air temperatures and the melting of land ice.

  • Question three

    By City of Vancouver

    As the ocean creeps up due to sea level rise, the beach area exposed during low tide will shrink. What is this phenomenon called?

  • Answer three

    By City of Vancouver

    Coastal squeeze. This will result in the loss of habitat of birds, forage fish, mussels, and clams in Vancouver’s shoreline ecosystem.

  • Question four

    By City of Vancouver

    With one meter of sea level rise, how many square kilometres of land in the City of Vancouver will be in the flood plain?

  • Answer four

    By City of Vancouver

    13 square kilometers. This estimate is based on a projected sea level rise of one meter and without flood management interventions.

  • Question five

    By City of Vancouver

    Complete the sentence: The City of Vancouver has a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least __% by the year 2050 through our Renewable City Strategy.

  • Answer five

    By City of Vancouver

    80%. Reducing greenhouse gases will help reduce the amount of sea level rise we will have to adapt to. Learn about the Renewable City Strategy.

  • Question six

    By City of Vancouver

    In 2012, Vancouver City Council adopted which strategy to ensure Vancouver remains vibrant, liveable, and resilient in the face of climate change?

  • Answer six

    By City of Vancouver

    The Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. Because sea levels don’t respond instantly to warming, we are committed to a certain amount of continued sea level rise into the future. Learn more about the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

  • Question seven

    By City of Vancouver

    What action(s) can you take reduce individual Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions?

  • Answer seven

    By City of Vancouver

    You can compost your food waste, eat more vegetarian meals, insulate your home and reduce energy leaks, and use transit, cycle, or walk more. These are a few ways that you can curb your emissions and help slow sea level rise.

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