Climate change impacts the structures and facilities (e.g., buildings, roads, power supplies) we rely on to live in Atlantic Canada. It is key to ensure new infrastructures and community developments are designed to withstand the risks associated with climate and are not placed in identified high risk areas.

Preventative investments are needed to ensure that both built and natural infrastructures are resilient to climate related damages. The design and maintenance of infrastructure such as bridges, railways, hospitals, and schools need to consider projected changes in climatic extremes. Natural infrastructures, which can provide flood- and drought-mitigation benefits, will also be affected by the risk of fire, drought, pests, and diseases. Businesses, engineers, politicians, and planners are required to understand these risks to ensure that infrastructure investment decisions are climate resilient.

The Atlantic Region has been identified as among the area of Canada most in need of adaptation investment to protect against climate risks (along with the Northern region), including addressing infrastructure priorities of local buildings, dikes, and roads (IBC & Federation of Canadian Municipalities [FCM], 2020). 

Before and after images sourced from: Clean Foundation’s Marshall’s Crossing project. In 2018, Clean Coasts identified the collapsing culverts at Marshall’s Crossing Site as a barrier to flow and fish passage, causing freshwater flooding events. They built a bridge to restore salt marsh habitat at Marshall’s Crossing and improve connectivity among the landscape. Marshall’s Crossing is one of three restoration sites for the Northumberland Strait Coastal Restoration project.

Further Reading:

International Institute for Sustainable Development (2021). Advancing the Climate Resilience of Canadian Infrastructure: A review of literature to inform the way forward. 

Dietz, S. & Hoyt., J. (2016). Appendix 2: Cost-benefit analysis of climate change adaptation options for the Chignecto Transportation Corridor. In H. Parnham, S. Arnold, & A. Fenech, A. (Eds.), Using cost benefit analysis to evaluate climate change adaptation options in Atlantic Canada. Atlantic Canada Adaptation Solutions Association report submitted to Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Division, Natural Resources Canada.

Kovacs, P., & Thistlethwaite, J. (2014). Industry. In F.J. Warren & D.S. Lemmen (Eds.), Canada in a changing climate: Sector perspectives on impacts and adaptation (pp. 135–158). Government of Canada. pdf/Chapter5-Industry_Eng.pdf