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Testing New, Innovative & Affordable Technologies for Monitoring & Visualizing the Impacts of Sea Level Rise, Erosion & Storm Surges on Coast Environments

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    Adam Fenech University of Prince Edward Island

This project uses innovative tools to assist coastal communities across Canada to prepare for, and adapt to, the coastal changes that are imminent as a result of a changing climate system.

Canada's coastal communities are facing a variety of marine hazards related to climate change including coastal erosion, storm surges and rising sea levels.  These hazards pose serous risks to infrastructure, businesses and residential areas causing many municipalities to evalute when, where and how they can better prepare their communities for the future.

Dr. Adam Fenech, Director of the UPEI Climate Lab, and his team will use flying drones to capture high-resolution imagery of two First Nations communities: Lennox Island, PEI and Rocky Point, PEI.  The team will use their data to create an interactive digital model of each community, similar to a video game.  Community planners can use this tool to simulate sea-level rise and storm surges of varying heights in their community, which in turn will identify critical areas and infrastructure at risk to flooding and erosion.  This innovative tool will help coastal communities assess the immediate risk to coastal infrastructure when a storm and/or storm surge is forecast, and will also aid long-term planning to prepare for, and adapt to, the impacts of a changing climate system.

Since the beginning of 2016, the project has recruited graduate students, met with the project steering committee and purchased of the LiDAR instrument for the sUAV. The field work begins next fiscal year.

Technical note:  The drones will use LiDAR to capture the imagery needed for the project.  The interactive digital model is technically known as a mini-CLIVE (CoastaL Impacts Visualization Environment) visualization tool.

This project is one of nine research projects funded through MEOPAR's partnership with Irving Shipbuilding Inc.  Read More

Partners:

  • Environment Canada
  • University of Prince Edward Island
  • Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI

Investigators:

  • Derek Ellis
  • Andrew MacDonald University of Prince Edward Island
  • Evan MacDonald University of Prince Edward Island

Publications:

  • Fenech,Adam,Alex Chen, Nick Hedley and Andrew Clark. 2017, Building an Adaptation Tool for Visualizing the Coastal Impacts of Climate Change on Prince Edward Island, Leal Filho,

The innovative tools developed by this project will assist coastal communities across Canada to prepare for, and adapt to, the coastal changes that are imminent as a result of a changing climate system

Outputs from this project will include fine resolution imagery of maritime coastline threatened by sea level rise, coastal erosion and storm surges. This imagery can act as a baseline for future coastal erosion studies monitoring the changing coastlines. It can also be used to build another output - a geo-visualization of the study areas, allowing the user to raise and lower sea level to the level of storm surge forecasts and view the potential infrastructure at risk.