Sea-Level Rise

Sea-levels are rising. In southeast New Brunswick, sea-levels could rise by 1 meter or more by the year 2100 (see: Sea-Level Rise Estimates for New Brunswick). 

Sea-level rise is driven by:

  • Rising temperatures: water heats up and expands.
  • Melting glaciers and Greenland/Antarctic ice sheets: increased temperatures have accelerated the pace at which ice melts and is added to sea water.
  • Other factors include regional variations in the ocean, the vertical movement of land and the effects of tides.​

Plan360 is working with local communities to adopt land use regulations to reduce vulnerabilities to sea-level rise. These regulations are passed at the local level by municipal Councils, or by the Minister of Environment and Local Government for unincorporated areas (where there is no municipal Council).

In the southeast region*:

  • The Rural Community of Beaubassin-Est was the first area in New Brunswick to adopt sea-level rise regulations
  • 10 communities have adopted sea-level rise by-laws
  • Between 2013 and 2019, 231 buildings have been adapted to sea-level rise to a total construction value of over $36 million
    • 194 of these buildings have been adapted through accommodation: buildings are within a sea-level rise zone but are raised to minimize risk
    • 37 of these buildings are located on higher portions of the property to avoid flood risk

*Westmorland and Albert counties excluding Moncton and Dieppe

Examples - Shediac, Cap-Pelé and Beaubassin-Est

For some communities along the Northumberland Strait, the regulation requires buildings to be adapted to a height of 4.3 meters above mean sea level (CGVD28). This elevation includes sea level rise to 2100 as well as a 1:100-year storm event and represents a worst-case scenario for sea level rise in the region. The habitable part of a building is subject to sea-level rise zone regulations. These portions of the building typically include washrooms and facilities to prepare and eat meals, a living room and bedrooms. Refer to the community by-laws on the area pages for more details on these regulations.

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* Available in French only.