Coastal Marine Management Plan

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Since 2018, citizen volunteers in the Coastal Marine Management Plan Working Group have been working to develop policy recommendations on the management of our coastline. The members bring a strong interest and specialized expertise in coastal management ranging from maritime law, coastal engineering, and marine sciences.

The working group has identified three policy areas, along with objectives and recommendations, in regard to coastal dynamics and ecosystems, built infrastructure and parks, and public-private interface.

These recommendations move forward Council's Strategic Goal to protect our environment, reduce our impact on it, and adapt to climate change.

Draft Recommendations Report

A comment form was open from Thursday, March 4 to Wednesday, April 7 at 4 p.m. Your feedback will help inform the working group's final report to Council.


Virtual information meetings

Virtual information meetings were held on March 9 and March 17.

Missed the virtual information meetings? View the presentation video below.


Background – A unique coastline

West Vancouver’s coastline is unique. It has 22 creeks flowing into the ocean which are important for habitat, and a geographic orientation that makes it subject to severe impacts from wind and storm activity. There is a history of waterfront development and other activities like seawalls and culverts, which create a variety of complex and interacting impacts. There are important links between sediment supply and transport, habitat, and erosion that need to be better understood. The impacts of climate change including sea level rise add to the complexity.

Sea level rise and storm surge
Flooding in low-lying coastal areas is expected to become more frequent and severe as the sea level continues to rise and heavy rainfall occurs more often. Without adaptation measures, sea level rise will lead to increased risk of storm surges—a temporary rise in sea level that occurs during intense storms— and permanent flooding of low-lying areas, including parks, roads, businesses, private properties, and cultural and heritage areas.

Habitat loss
Sea level rise is expected to reduce the area of intertidal habitat—the section of beach exposed during low tide and covered during high tide. This area provides important habitat for a wide variety of species, including birds, marine mammals, fish, shellfish, and plants.

In West Vancouver, this may cause a loss of recreational areas, such as beaches and parks, and less habitat for animals and plants.

Coastal erosion
As the effects of climate change become more pronounced, sea level will rise and storm surges will become more frequent. Waves will reach higher elevations and erode the shoreline, resulting in the possible loss of waterfront land, parks, beach, and built structures.

The impact will be different depending on the area of shoreline—rocky areas will be resistant to erosion, while some areas like the Centennial Seawall may require extensive engineering for protection.

Learn more in the Draft Recommendations Report.



Policy areas

The Coastal Marine Management Plan outlines a framework and direction to guide coastal management in the following three interrelated policy areas:

Each policy area includes key issues, objectives, and recommended actions to be used by the District for coastal management over the next 10 to 20 years. The recommended actions have been organized into short-term, medium-term, and long-term recommended actions.


Since 2018, citizen volunteers in the Coastal Marine Management Plan Working Group have been working to develop policy recommendations on the management of our coastline. The members bring a strong interest and specialized expertise in coastal management ranging from maritime law, coastal engineering, and marine sciences.

The working group has identified three policy areas, along with objectives and recommendations, in regard to coastal dynamics and ecosystems, built infrastructure and parks, and public-private interface.

These recommendations move forward Council's Strategic Goal to protect our environment, reduce our impact on it, and adapt to climate change.

Draft Recommendations Report

A comment form was open from Thursday, March 4 to Wednesday, April 7 at 4 p.m. Your feedback will help inform the working group's final report to Council.


Virtual information meetings

Virtual information meetings were held on March 9 and March 17.

Missed the virtual information meetings? View the presentation video below.


Background – A unique coastline

West Vancouver’s coastline is unique. It has 22 creeks flowing into the ocean which are important for habitat, and a geographic orientation that makes it subject to severe impacts from wind and storm activity. There is a history of waterfront development and other activities like seawalls and culverts, which create a variety of complex and interacting impacts. There are important links between sediment supply and transport, habitat, and erosion that need to be better understood. The impacts of climate change including sea level rise add to the complexity.

Sea level rise and storm surge
Flooding in low-lying coastal areas is expected to become more frequent and severe as the sea level continues to rise and heavy rainfall occurs more often. Without adaptation measures, sea level rise will lead to increased risk of storm surges—a temporary rise in sea level that occurs during intense storms— and permanent flooding of low-lying areas, including parks, roads, businesses, private properties, and cultural and heritage areas.

Habitat loss
Sea level rise is expected to reduce the area of intertidal habitat—the section of beach exposed during low tide and covered during high tide. This area provides important habitat for a wide variety of species, including birds, marine mammals, fish, shellfish, and plants.

In West Vancouver, this may cause a loss of recreational areas, such as beaches and parks, and less habitat for animals and plants.

Coastal erosion
As the effects of climate change become more pronounced, sea level will rise and storm surges will become more frequent. Waves will reach higher elevations and erode the shoreline, resulting in the possible loss of waterfront land, parks, beach, and built structures.

The impact will be different depending on the area of shoreline—rocky areas will be resistant to erosion, while some areas like the Centennial Seawall may require extensive engineering for protection.

Learn more in the Draft Recommendations Report.



Policy areas

The Coastal Marine Management Plan outlines a framework and direction to guide coastal management in the following three interrelated policy areas:

Each policy area includes key issues, objectives, and recommended actions to be used by the District for coastal management over the next 10 to 20 years. The recommended actions have been organized into short-term, medium-term, and long-term recommended actions.