Mi'kma'ki/Nova Scotia is one step closer to protecting its coastline from inappropriate and dangerous coastal developments as the province announces the long-awaited consultation on Nova Scotia’s Coastal Protection Act (Bill 106) regulations. The consultation will begin today and the Ecology Action Centre is urging Nova Scotians to participate by providing their thoughts and feedback on the proposed regulations. The legislation received Royal Assent in 2019 and the consultation on regulations is the final step in the process before the legislation is in force.
“This is the best move our province can make to protect our citizens from dangerous development and to protect our coastal ecosystems from destruction as they withstand storm surge, coastal flooding and accelerated erosion,” says Nancy Anningson, coastal adaptation senior coordinator with the EAC. “Nova Scotians now have an opportunity to share their thoughts and have their voices heard on these very important regulations.”
Nova Scotia has over 13,000 km of coastline and 70 per cent of our population lives in coastal communities. With the worst sea level rise predictions in the Canada, the effects of coastal climate change are a risk Nova Scotians can't afford to ignore any longer. When disaster strikes, taxpayers will be the ones paying the price for inappropriate coastal development through disaster relief funds.
The government documents under consultation define the coastal protection zone and what requirements would need to be met to build in those areas. Homes and structures will no longer be able to be built in dangerous places and vital coastal ecosystems such as salt marshes and dunes will be protected.
“The coast is dynamic and resilient when it’s not being crushed by infill, hard armouring and structures that are too close to the shoreline,” explains Anningson. “We need to stop making these life-threatening mistakes with new construction so that we can focus on the urgent adaptation needs of our coastal communities. There are enough homes, community assets and infrastructure in trouble already—we do not need to add anymore.”
Consultation begins today, Thursday, July 15 and will continue until Friday, Sept. 17. Nova Scotians can review the government documents which provide an overview of the regulations and share their feedback by visiting https://novascotia.ca/coast.
The province will also be holding sessions throughout the summer with municipalities, Mi’kmaq communities, fisheries groups and others with a specific interest in the coast.