Mayor Andy Adams and long-range planning and sustainability supervisor Chris Osborne receive the city’s Honourable Mention from Dale Littlejohn of the Community Energy Association at Monday’s council meeting. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

City of Campbell River receives recognition for Rising Seas initiative

Community Energy Association calls city’s project ‘very impressive’

The City of Campbell River received the first of what the presenting organization hopes will be “many” recognitions on Monday for its attempts to address and mitigate the threat from rising ocean levels and climate change.

The Community Energy Association (CEA) began in 1993 as an advisory group to the BC Energy Council, and has since joined forces with various government ministries and other entities, becoming an independent registered charity in 2004.

“Our mission is to build capacity and accelerate action on climate and energy collaboratively with local governments,” according to the organization, which includes recognition of projects that it feels best exemplify its ideals of reducing community and corporate energy use and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions with its annual Climate & Energy Action Awards.

New to the awards this year was the Climate Change Adaptation category, for which the City of Campbell River’s “Rising Seas” project received Honourable Mention.

Dale Littlejohn of the CEA says the Rising Seas initiative rose to the top, as it were, in a group of “very compelling 2019 applications,” and he was happy to be on hand to present the recognition to council Monday.

“The independent judging panel selected Campbell River Rising Seas initiative for Honourable Mention because of four biggest points, which were the leadership and replicability demonstrated for other coastal communities which are all exposed to risks from rising sea levels, the extensive public engagement that was conducted as part of the plan, modeling the wind and wave conditions under 100 and 200 year storms and future sea level rise conditions so that bylaws can be based on this information and further assessment and identification of actions for flood mitigation can be impacted,” Littlejohn says. “If all of these measures are implemented, over the next 60 to 80 years the estimated value of land and human activity protected could be $1 billion. Very impressive.”

“I look forward to being here many more times to recognize the implementation of these actions and your continued work on climate change mitigation and your community emissions plan.”

RELATED: Speculative map shows downtown flooded by rising sea levels

RELATED: As sea levels rise, Campbell River considers raised buildings and roads

Mayor Andy Adams said he was happy for the city to be receiving the recognition, but gave the credit for the initiative to Chris Osborne, the city’s long-range planning and sustainability supervisor.

“I want to give credit where credit is due,” Adams says. “With the phenomenal work that (Osborne) has done on this initiative and this project and with the full community engagement that’s taken place, Mr. Osborne, this award is for you. Thank you for the work you do on behalf of the City of Campbell River.”

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