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Funding approved for climate change risk study

POWELL RIVER, B.C.- The Powell River Regional District is studying the impacts and hazards of climate change on the area’s coastline.

Manager of Emergency Services, Ryan Thoms, said that a grant application has been approved for a Coastal Risk Assessment. The grant comes from the National Disaster Mitigation Program.

“Throughout this study, we’re looking at the science and what it says in our area of the Salish Sea in terms of predicted sea level rise, trying to bring us some better predicted numbers, and what that might look like along our coastline,” Thoms said.

“Trying to look at that and how it will interact with our coastline’s topography, geology, as well as our public and private infrastructure that is along the coastal strip.”

Thoms said this is an overview study, and hopes that it can be the first step towards future studies later in the year. The findings will help in future emergency and infrastructure planning.

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He noted that later studies will look at more specific areas within the regional district, off the coastline.

He said that work has already begun, and he expects that the Powell River RD will have a draft report ready in the spring, which they will make available to the public.

“Then we hope to go forward with more detailed mapping and really try to drill down to more detailed information of what coastal climate change impacts, like sea level rises and storm surges, could look like closer to home for us.”

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