Coastal Erosion Hazard Mapping in Prince Edward Island

Coastal erosion rates are available in Prince Edward Island and are used to estabish appropriate setback distances for coastal development (60 ft or 60 times the annual erosion rate). However, these rates were determined using 1935 and 1980 aerial photos and may not reflect current rates of erosion. Climate change will likely result in greater erosion, due to increased intensity and frequency storms and sea level rise. Historical rates of erosion need to be better understood in order to forecast coastal erosion rates that could be anticipated with climate change, The development of coastal erosion hazard mapping required the completion of a number of tasks: digitize and correct historical aerial photography of Prince Edward Island (1968)

  • acquire recent aerial photographs of Prince Edward Island (2010)
  • delineate and compare coastlines from 1968, 2000 and 2010 aerial photographs to determine historical erosion rates
  • based on historical rates of erosion and climate change scenarios, develop potential coastal erosion scenarios for Prince Edward Island
  • develop a publicly-accessible hazard map reflecting existing and projected erosion rates and hazard zones
, This project has provided a publicly-accessible coastal erosion hazard map for the entire coastline of Prince Edward Island, highlighting areas currently at risk as well as those that may be at risk due to climate change., Identifying areas in Prince Edward Island that are at risk due to coastal erosion now will influence coastal setbacks and contribute to better land use planning in coastal areas.