News release

Government Announces Plan for Climate-Resilient Coastal Communities, Homes

Environment and Climate Change
climate change
land and water protection
the coastline off Mabou, CApe Breton

The coastline off of Mabou in Cape Breton; today the government released its plan to protect people, homes, communities and nature from climate change along the coast. (Communications Nova Scotia / File)

Climate change is causing rising sea levels and stronger storms which can lead to more storm surge flooding and erosion, which put people and properties at risk. Nova Scotians living by the coast and municipalities now have new resources to make their homes, communities and natural areas more resilient to this reality.

Today, February 26, the government released The Future of Nova Scotia’s Coastline: The plan to protect people, homes and nature from climate change along our coast, which has 15 actions for property owners, municipalities and the Province to take to make coastal homes, communities and natural areas safer.

“Nova Scotians are a coastal people, and being near the ocean contributes significantly to our quality of life – people want to live by it and be safe,” said Timothy Halman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “However, we need to adapt as climate change increasingly impacts our communities. This new plan is part of our government’s integrated and holistic approach to climate change which includes the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act, a climate plan, updated risk assessment and more. Together, these initiatives empower Nova Scotians to adapt to climate change, create climate-resilient homes and communities, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and in this case, safeguard our coastal way of life.”

The plan focuses on empowering coastal property owners to make informed decisions, supporting municipal leadership and aligning resources with coastal protection. The full plan is at:

Minister Halman also announced a new navigator service to help coastal property owners understand potential risks and hazards on their property and what they can do to mitigate them.

More than $3 million in funding from the climate plan will support some of the actions in the coastline plan:

  • $1.6-million investment in municipal flood-line maps so people and municipalities have more information, more quickly, on flooding risks and to support municipalities in better zoning land to reduce coastal and inland flood hazards; part of the funding will be used to hold adaptation workshops for municipal leaders in communities across the province
  • a $1.6-million top-up for the Community Climate Capacity Program, administered on behalf of the Province by Clean Foundation.


“As the level of government responsible for land-use planning, zoning, building permits and building bylaws, municipalities are best equipped to take a holistic approach to planning, designing and building coastal communities so that they are resilient to climate change. They have strong processes and systems to ensure community development and building is done in a way that is sustainable and safe. We will continue to support local municipal leadership and action by investing in more flood-line maps for them to use in their zoning and planning work, through programs like the Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund and the Community Climate Capacity Program, by conducting a provincewide erosion risk assessment, and more.”
— John Lohr, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Quick Facts:

  • the Community Climate Capacity Program helps municipalities, community organizations and Indigenous communities and organizations make their communities resilient to climate change
  • about 13.1 per cent of Nova Scotia’s coastline is protected now from development inside provincial parks, wilderness areas, nature reserves, national parks, national wildlife areas and in land owned and managed by conservation land trusts and Mi’kmaw organizations
  • the government has committed to increasing this percentage as part of its goal to protect 20 per cent of the province’s land and water by 2030

Additional Resources:

Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act:

Our Climate, Our Future: Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth:

Weathering What’s Ahead: Climate Change Risk and Nova Scotia’s Well-being:

More information on the Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund is available at:

Other than cropping, CNS photos are not to be altered in any way