Nova Scotia

Coastal forecast says Cheticamp could flood by 2100

The Ecology Action Centre is issuing another warning about climate change and its impact on coastal communities as it wraps up a project in Cheticamp that suggests a grim forecast for the Cape Breton town.

Cheticamp Island may separate from community, says Ecology Action Centre

The Ecology Action Centre says the centre of Cheticamp could be flooded by the year 2100. (www.wikipedia.org)

The Ecology Action Centre is issuing another warning about climate change and its impact on coastal communities as it wraps up a project in Cheticamp that suggests a grim forecast for the Cape Breton town.

Veronika Brzeski, the climate change adaptation co-ordinator with the Halifax-based environmental group, said scientists used 3D mapping data of the current coastline to come up with a forecast for the year 2100.

"Some of the roads are vulnerable, Cheticamp Island may once again become separated from the mainland and the centre of town could get flooded," said Brzeski.

The boardwalk in the community is already vulnerable to storm surges, she said.

"There's three strategies that can be taken. The first one is to armour, so just block the sea from affecting the infrastructure. The second one is accommodate, so somehow adapt the infrastructure to allow for storm surges, to allow for sea level rise. Purdy's Wharf is a typical example," Brzeski said.

"Then the third one is just to retreat so bit by bit, slowly move the town back."

Duart MacAulay, the warden of Municipality of the County of Inverness, said the information gathered in the study will be useful as the county works to complete its own municipal climate change action plan by the end of the year.

"We had some close calls in the last number of years here especially in the Margaree and the Meat Cove area and we want to be prepared for it," he told CBC News.

"It's going to be a worthwhile exercise, I believe."

The project focused on the impact of climate change on fisheries and tourism in particular.

Brzeski said the final step will be to provide communities will tool kits, advising them on how to get people involved in developing an adaptation plan.

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