This website was developed to help Atlantic rural coastal communities plan for the effects of climate change. The website includes two tools and a number of resources found by clicking the different tabs above:

  • Decision Tree that allows you to answer questions related to flooding or erosion issues. The decision tree will then provide a variety of adaptation options.
  • Community Profile where you answer questions regarding your community’s strengths related to climate changing adaptation. Based on the responses, the tool provides approaches for improving the community’s capacity to address the impacts of climate change.
  • Guidance Document, in three parts, that provides detailed information on land use planning and engineering tools for climate change adaptation, as well as how to select among these tools.
  • Climate Change Coastal Primer that provides a summary of climate change issues, coastal processes, and coastal risks such as erosion and flooding.

Important Things To Know As You Use the Website

  • This website is not a replacement for consultation with engineering, land use planning, or earth science professionals;
  • The website is for use by staff and elected officials in communities;
  • It is expected that decision-makers use the information provided by the Decision Tree and Community Profile to discuss which adaptation options would be best suited for your community.

Getting Started

In order to use the tool, you need to request a user account. If you already have an account with login and password and are ready to apply the tool, click here.

Who should use this site?

This website is designed for use by Atlantic rural communities concerned about current and future issues caused by flooding and coastal erosion. It was developed with community staff and elected officials in mind.

How do the online tools work?

The “Decision Tree” will ask you a set of questions about your community, the types of flooding or coastal erosion issues faced by your community, and the coastal environment within your community. The questions reflect the main criteria typically used to evaluate the ‘fit’ of climate change adaptation options.

The series of questions the tool presents will be dynamic; your response to one question can affect the next question the tool will ask. Ultimately, the full set of answers you provide will be used to identify and present you with adaptation or management options which are:

For Land Use Planning options:

For Engineering Options:

Most suitable – plan is already in place

Most suitable Some Concerns
Somewhat suitable Avoid
Not appropriate at this time  


The “Community Profile” is designed to help you identify your community's ability to adapt to climate change. By answering questions about your community, the Profile provides a printout that

summarizes your community’s current challenges;
points out the resources you have to cope with climate change; and
suggests resources you could acquire to improve your ability to cope with climate change

By using both tools together, you can review your adaptation options based on what is appropriate for the situation as well as your community’s resources.

Limitations of the website

The tool is intended for informational purposes only – to make communities and decision-makers aware of their coastal environment, the different adaptation options available to them, and the applicability of the options under different scenarios. Before beginning any activity to address a flooding or erosion issue always consult with an appropriate planning or engineering professional.

The tool was primarily developed for the use of local government staff and stakeholders involved in coastal decision making and shoreline management planning. Although private land owners may use the tool, it is important to note that the questions and outputs were designed with municipal officials and planners in mind.

The tool is not intended to prescribe the adaptation strategy that a community should use to solve issues at a site. Each adaptation strategy is accompanied by a number of elements to consider when deciding whether to accept or reject the option, based on the user’s objectives.

The tool is appropriate for use by rural Atlantic communities that are experiencing coastal issues related to erosion and/or short- and long-term flooding impacts.

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