The Town of Beresford, like many other jurisdictions in New Brunswick and around the world, is subject to the environmental hazards and the effects of climate change. The Chaleur Bay, the proximity of forests, the presence of smoke from sometimes distant forest fires, extreme weather events and even the arrival of new species (ticks) are just some of the elements that we must adapt to in the future.
The Town of Beresford is working closely with the Chaleur Regional Service Commission (RSC) to develop an understanding of the climate risks for our town and to adapt to them in the future to preserve our quality of life, our properties and to protect the environment.
Here is an overview of the work that has been carried out to date:
Phase 1 was completed in 2018 with the support of the Coastal Zones Research Institutes Inc. (CZRI) and the Chaleur Regional Advisory Committee on Climate Change Adaptation (CRACCCA). The report below explains the completion of Phase 1, where we determined the scope and type of plan to prepare, depicted the current situation with respect to the impacts of climate change and analyzed the risks, weaknesses and needs at a regional level.
Three working meetings with employees of the Chaleur R.S.C., the CRACCCA and the CZRI took place, as well as two sessions including key stakeholders. The CZRI gathered available data and information to prepare a portrait of the situation with respect to climate change impacts, risks and vulnerabilities. That research was then validated and completed with local experts at the round-table sessions.
The results offer a portrait of the current and future environmental situation. Gaps in the data and information available were also identified. Please refer to the document below to view the results of Phase 1 of the project.
Phase 2 was completed in 2019 with the collaboration of WSP Global Inc., RegeNord and the CRACCCA.
WSP Global Inc. produced a comprehensive climate change adaptation plan using key findings of Phase 1 along with more detailed information. The WSP Global Inc. report below was created by using the best practices in building a climate change plan for the municipal sector and following a climate change risk assessment consistent with ISO 31000 standards.
Phase 1 identified a lack of pertinent information on erosion in certain sectors of our region. The company RegeNord was hired to perform an erosion analysis of the coastal sector from Pointe-Verte to Nigadoo. The results from this study are found below.
Phase 3 was completed in 2020 with the support of WSP Canada INC and the CRACCCA. In order to have a deep understanding of the risks for the CRSC territory, WSP Canada Inc was mandated to perform two studies.
The first report was a continuation of Phase 2 of the Climate Change Adaptation Plan, the objective of which was to plan the implementation of preselected concrete measures along with practical and precise urban planning tools in order to adapt to climate change.
The second report provided CRSC with a detailed analysis on coastal erosion which included the Belledune and Beresford municipalities. The report identified the infrastructure and sectors which were potentially at risk for erosion in the coming decades. This was crucial in implementing a targeted action plan to address the risks identified to each of these areas.
Next step: Climate change adaptation plan
With the data obtained from the previous reports and studies, the Town of Beresford formed a working group to create a document to raise awareness and inform the residents and local decision makers about the risks and challenges associated with climate change in Beresford and to raise awareness of the issues it raises. This document suggests solutions, actions and measures to help deciders and stakeholders to make the decisions required to attenuate risks associated with climate change. We must make our community more resilient to climate risks by bringing them down to an acceptable level. Better knowledge will allow us to maximize possibilities and opportunities arising from climate change.
The development of these reports was made possible thanks to the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund.