Local groups say new funding will help promote living shorelines in N.S.

The Nova Scotia government has pledged more than $2.4 million to seven community-led projects that focus on living shorelines.

Living shorelines are seen as a nature-based way to reduce coastal erosion and flooding caused by climate change. They use natural materials — rocks, plants and sand — to stabilize land along the coast.

One group to receive funding is the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation for its work in Mahone Bay.

Jordan Veinot, the climate change team lead for organization, believes introducing living shorelines can help reduce public concern surrounding climate change.

“It can be difficult for folks to engage with challenging topics,” Veinot said. “I think one really important way to deal with that is having more knowledge.”

Additional 100 metres

The organization received over $770,000 for its planned 700-metre living shoreline expansion.

Veinot said a pilot project launched in 2022 was the first phase. The new funding will allow for an additional 100 metres of coastline protection.

“That full-length project comes at quite a high cost,” Veinot said. 

Funding for these projects comes from the Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund.

Another recipient is TransCoastal Adaptations, centred at Saint Mary’s University. It was awarded over $238,000 for their efforts to train homeowners in the town of Pictou and municipalities of West Hants and Barrington on natural solutions. 

Kelly Umlah, the group’s educational and outreach co-ordinator, said a major challenge is making living shorelines more accepted in Atlantic Canada.

“It definitely is a challenge and that’s why the education piece is very important,” she said.

Umlah said some people believe a living shoreline can wash away in a storm, which is possible, she said. But she said there are methods “that can reduce the likelihood of losing property or damaging property.”

Veinot said the funding is going to help provide resources to local communities and she anticipates growth in education for the public.

“Knowing what options are out there is a really great first step into advocating not only for your personal property, but for your community,” she said.




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