Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum (right) and Delta Coun. Dan Copeland walk across the Nicomekl sea dam following a May 2019 funding announcement, when $76 million was pledged to help Surrey implement aspects of its Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy. (File photo)

Surrey notches win for flood-adaptation strategy

Environment award recognizes city’s preparations ‘for a new reality of coastal flooding risk’

The City of Surrey has received national recognition for its Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy project.

The 2020 CAMA Environment Award was announced Thursday (Oct. 1) by officials with the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators.

Presented in the 100,000+ population category, during a Virtual Awards of Excellence Ceremony, it “recognizes the commitment of a municipality to environmentally sustainable governance, to protecting the environment and to combating climate change.”

“CAMA is pleased to recognize Surrey for its flood adaptation strategy,” Jake Rudolph, president of CAMA and chief administrative officer for the City of Nanaimo, said in the release.

“This project will help the city prepare for a new reality of coastal flooding risk.”

As the climate changes, coastal communities like Surrey can expect more flooding due to storm surge and sea-level rise, the release continues, adding by the end of this century, Surrey’s coastline may be a metre or more higher than it is today.

Surrey’s Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy (CFAS), developed over the course of three years, identified current and potential future impacts of climate change on the city’s coastal floodplain area and developed short- and long-term strategic directions to reduce flooding risks.

In May of last year, the federal government pledged $76 million in funding to help implement the strategy, with a portion of those funds earmarked to build a six-lane bridge that replaces the Nicomekl dam, Bailey bridge and King George Boulevard bridge.

READ MORE: WATCH: $76 million pledged for coastal flooding mitigation in Surrey and Delta

“In developing CFAS, Surrey followed an innovative, five-phase planning process which included value-based, community-driven decision-making, supplemented with sound engineering analysis. Protecting wetland habitats and riparian areas while seeking ways to enhance the natural environment was a key value,” the Oct. 1 release states.

City manager Vincent Lalonde said the award “is an illustration of Surrey’s commitment to partnering with the community in tackling difficult issues such as climate change adaptation.”

“Our comprehensive CFAS plan will ensure our communities, environment and key infrastructure are protected now and into the future,” Lalonde said in the release.
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