Addressing sea level rise in the Metro Vancouver region means understanding a broad range of social, economic and environmental issues. To bring you the very best round-up of the latest scientific research and policy reports, SFU Public Square partnered with SFU’s Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT).


Hand-picked by the experts at ACT, the reports below will give teams a head start at understanding the issues and strategies already associated with sea level rise. 

Using this research, and other reputable sources you find, will help your team build the most convincing argument to support your idea. The judges will be looking for how research has informed your problem definition, as well as how it supports you in meeting the judging criteria.

SFU's Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT)

ACT brings leading experts from around the world together with industry, community, and government decision-makers to explore the risks posed by top-of-mind climate change issues and identify opportunities for sustainable adaptation.

ACT is:

  • The only university-based think tank initiative in North America dedicated to climate change adaptation.
  • Involved in adaptation in Canada and internationally through academic, corporate and community events, networks and affiliations.
  • A publisher of research reports identifying policy opportunities and resources designed to bridge from theory to action in support of sustainable adaptation.
  • A clearing house for Canadian and international adaptation and climate change information.
  • A way to get involved.

Find out more about ACT, and read the latest summary reports.



Bornhold, B (2008). Projected Sea Level Changes for British Columbia in the 21st Century. Province of British Columbia and Government of Canada.

This report is a summary of a study by the Government of Canada and an analysis of sea level change for B.C.’s coast.


BC Ministry of the Environment (2013). Sea level rise and adaptation primer: a toolkit to build capacity on Canada’s south coasts. Arlington Group, EBA Engineering, De Jardine Consulting and the Sustainability Solutions Group.

This report is a resource for governments as they identify and evaluate options for adapting to sea level rise.


BC Ministry of the Environment (2012). Costs of Adaptation – Sea Dikes & Alternative Strategies.

This report estimates the costs of adapting the Vancouver area to a 1m rise in sea level. The study area covers Metro Vancouver coastal shorelines and Fraser River shorelines west of the Port Mann Bridge. The cost estimate helps to define the scale of the work ahead and is a first step in developing a regional flood protection adaptation strategy.


BC Ministry of the Environment (2011) Climate Change Adaption Guidelines for Sea Dikes and Coastal Flood Hazard Land Use Draft Policy Discussion Paper.

This policy paper recommended future sea level rise guidelines for BC.


BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (2014). Fraser River Design Flood Level Update- Hope to Mission

The report, Fraser River Design Flood Level Update – Hope to Mission, provides authorities with updated design flood levels in comparison with crest levels of 15 dikes in the Hope to Mission reach. All but one dike are too low.


BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (2014). Simulating the Effects of Sea Level Rise and Climate Change on Fraser River Flood Scenarios.

The report, Simulating the Effects of Sea Level Rise and Climate Change on Fraser River Flood Scenarios, uses models to replicate possible effects of climate change-related sea level rise and increased flows on Fraser River flood levels.


Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP) and UBC (2010). Local Climate Change Visioning and Landscape Visualizations Guidance Manual.

A guide to assist local communities to visualize climate impacts to assist in adaptation planning.


Barron, S., Flanders, D., Pond, E., Tatebe, K., Canete, G., Sheppard, S., Carmichael, J., & Owen, S (2011). Delta-RAC Sea Level Rise Adaptation Visioning Study.  

This report provides an overview of adaptation actions related to sea level rise in Delta and outlines visualizations of future adaptation scenarios as well as training modules.

ACT Adaptation to SLR

Forseth, P. (2012) Adaptation to Sea Level Rise in Metro Vancouver: A Review of Literature for Historical Sea Level Flooding and Projected Sea Level Rise in Metro Vancouver. SFU Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT).

This report provides a review of historical flooding in Vancouver and projected changes.

Local Effects- Keenan and Yan

Keenan, E. and A. Yan (2011). The Local Effects of Global Climate Change in the City of Vancouver: A Community Toolkit and Atlas.

This report outlines the effects of climate change at the neighborhood level in Vancouver. 

Professional Practice Guidelines

Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Natural Resources Canada. (2012). Professional Practice Guidelines- Legislated Flood Assessments in a Changing Climate in BC.

The purpose of this document is to guide professional practice for flood assessments, to identify the circumstances when risk assessments are appropriate and to emphasize the need to consider climate change and land use changes in such assessments.

BC & Washington Climate Change

BC Government and Washington State. (2008). Memorandum of Understanding on Coastal Climate Change Adaptation.

A memorandum of understanding stating that the Province and the State will share data and best practices and collaborate on issues related to climate change and sea level rise.


BC Water and Waste Association. (2013). Position Statement: Adapting Infrastructure for a Changing Climate.

A position statement supporting a risk based approach to analyzing vulnerability and adapting to climate change.

COV Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

City of Vancouver (2012) Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

A detailed assessment of impacts in Vancouver, and potential actions to address priorities.

 Subsidence & SLR on Fraser River Delta

Mazzotti, S., A. Lambert, M. Van der Kooij and A. Mainville (2009). Impact of Anthropogenic Subsidence on Relative Sea-Level Rise in the Fraser River Delta. Geology, 37(9), 771- 774.

This study attempts to understand how human activities are affecting land subsidence in the Fraser River delta.

Municipal Case Studies- Delta

Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian Institute of Planners. (2007). Municipal Case Studies: Climate Change and the Planning Process: Delta. CitySpaces Consulting Ltd.

This document overviews the Delta case study (which focuses on sea level rise). Delta, which was one of five municipal case studies in Canada selected for a climate change planning initiative.

Factors Affecting SLR

Thomson, R.E., B.D. Bornhold and S. Mazzotti (2008). An Examination of the Factors Affecting Relative and Absolute Sea Level Rise in British Columbia. Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

This report summarizes sea level variability in world oceans, and focuses on BC’s coastal regions.

CH8 BC- Canada in a Changing Climate

Walker, I. and R. Sydneysmith (2008). British Columbia: In from Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate 2007. Government of Canada.

The chapter includes a case study on water supply in the Greater Vancouver Regional District and information about flood risks in the lower mainland.

Climate Variable Mapping- MetroVan

Whiting, D. and C. Lai (2008). Climate Variable Mapping and Agriculture – Metro Vancouver.

This document maps future climate conditions and discusses how they relate to agriculture changes.

Climate Change in the Georgia Basin

Yin, Y. (2001). Designing an Integrated Approach for Evaluating Adaptation Options to Reduce Climate Change Vulnerability in the Georgia Basin. Natural Resources Canada.

This research report explores how to incorporate research information into adaptation assessments.

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