The City of Campbell River has been recognized yet again for its Rising Seas Project, which looks to address the potential impacts on the community by sea level rise. Photo by Mark Seal

City of Campbell River’s Rising Seas Project nets two more awards

‘These awards demonstrate how local governments connect local needs and local solutions,’ mayor says.

The City of Campbell River has won a pair of new awards for a recent project examining the potential impacts of climate change on our community.

On Sept. 14, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities named Campbell River one of 11 municipalities selected for its annual Sustainable Communities Awards for the city’s Rising Seas Project. The awards honour and celebrate the most innovative environmental initiatives in cities and communities across Canada.

“This work has put Campbell River among the leaders working to plan for sea level rise and the anticipated effects on our community,” says Mayor Andy Adams. “We do our best to share local solutions to inspire other municipalities to meet climate change goals. These awards demonstrate how local governments connect local needs and local solutions.”

Then on Oct. 1, the project was recognized by the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA), winning the 2020 CAMA Environment Award in the 20,001 to 100,000 population category.

“CAMA is pleased to recognize Campbell River for its proactive action plan,” says Jake Rudolph, president of CAMA and chief administrative officer for the City of Nanaimo. “This project will help the city face the daunting challenges presented by a rising sea level.”

The Rising Seas project led to council’s recent adoption of its first ever Sea Level Rise Action Plan.

The project took a broad view of flood risk posed by future sea level rise and engaged the public in choosing appropriate responses that also promote shoreline values such as ecology, access, and views.

Public outreach, youth engagement, and dialogue with First Nations have been key project components, the city says.

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The city hired coastal engineers to perform technical analyses, modelling extreme marine and weather conditions before factoring in future sea level rises.

This resulted in a set of flood construction levels being defined for the entirety of the urbanized coastline, on which a future flood bylaw will be based.

Analysis then went further and evaluated different feasible flood mitigation measures in various locations.

By implementing the action items in the plan, the city says it can work toward protecting as many human and natural assets as possible, and the community benefits from being prepared and informed.

These are not the first awards the project has received.

In the fall of 2019, it was also recognized by the Community Energy Association (CEA) during its annual Climate & Energy Action Awards.

You can find out more about the Rising Seas Project by visiting

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Climate change