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Geomorphic Nature-Based Shoreline Design in the Strait of Georgia, BC
Phil Osborne and Rowland Atkins
Golder Associates
The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate how coastal bluff and shoreline erosion hazards in the Strait of Georgia may be effectively addressed with a robust geomorphology based shoreline solution that considers coastal processes, sediment budget and geomorphological context.

This presentation draws from case study experience on Canada’s west coast to illustrate the benefits of a geomorphological design basis for development of climate-resilient nature-based shoreline solutions to address flooding and erosion hazards. Many of the beaches forming the shorelines of the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound, in British Columbia’s lower mainland and neighbouring State of Washington respectively, and known collectively as the Salish Sea, are derived from sand and gravel eroded from nearby bluffs. The region’s glacial history and unique geology make these feeder bluffs an important source of beach sediment. The desire to stabilize coastal bluffs which are naturally subject to erosion to protect valuable upland assets can lead to long term sediment supply deficits and erosion issues on neighbouring shorelines. Understanding the relationships between coastal and feeder bluff slope processes, sediment transport and morphology is integral to avoiding conflict.

We will present several case studies illustrating how bluff and shoreline erosion hazards in the Strait of Georgia may be addressed with robust and climate-resilient nature-based solutions that consider coastal processes, sediment budget and geomorphological context.

Phil Osborne, Senior Coastal Geomorphologist, Golder Associates
Phil Osborne is a Principal with Golder Associates and senior practice leader for coastal engineering, oceanography and geomorphology services. Phil leads Golder’s global coastal and marine engineering technical community and provides strategic business and technical leadership for a wide range of services in offshore, coastal, and estuarine environments. He is subject matter expert in coastal dynamics, sediment transport, and geomorphology with more than 34 years of international postgraduate experience in research and consulting.


Coastal Hazard and Structures Rehabilitation: Case Study of Forillon National Park, Quebec
Nicolas Guillemette1, Justin Mckibbon1, Thomas Fortin-Chevalier1, Julien Dumais St-Onge1, Benoit Ruest1, Frédéric Sainte-Croix2, Simon F. Pineault2
1WSP Canada
2Parks Canada Agency
The objective of this presentation is to briefly describe the coastal hazards around the Forillon National Park peninsula and the assessment undertaken to evaluate the state of various structures and address ongoing issues such as the impact of climate change on the submersion risk, significant erosion along access roads, and maintenance problems for various structures including a fishing and recreational harbour.

The Forillon National Park is located at the outer tip of the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec and covers 244 km2. Created in 1970, Forillon was the first national park in Quebec. The park includes forests, seacoast, salt marshes, sand dunes, cliffs and the eastern end of the Appalachians. Parks Canada Agency has recently retained coastal and maritime expertise to develop engineering solutions to reduce access roads and infrastructures vulnerability to coastal submersion and erosion and enhance the long-term conservation value of the park.

The coastal infrastructures include access roads, recreational areas, parking lots, a fishing and recreational harbour and some key facilities to support the tourism industry. The damages and repeated maintenance works to these structures in the recent years are more frequent and costly for Parks. The preliminary studies were intended to develop engineering solutions to reduce the coastal vulnerability to the infrastructures, assess the impacts of the solution implementation on the coastal environment and customer experience and minimize the construction and maintenance costs. To meet these objectives, various coastal analyses to characterize and quantify the coastal hazards along the Forillon peninsula were undertaken and resilient technical solutions to preserve long-term operational services and conservation value in a context of climate change were developed.

The main activities undertaken to realize this project were:

  • Hydrographic and topographic surveys;
  • A condition assessment;
  • Metocean data collection;
  • Geotechnical field measurements including bore holes and stability analyses;
  • Risk assessment of various infrastructures based on the development of setback lines for different horizons;
  • Hydrodynamic and sediment transport modeling;
  • Coastal engineering analyses to develop solutions adapted to site conditions and various stakeholder’s requirements, including the implementation of mitigation measures; and,
  • Preliminary and detailed design, including site supervision during construction.

Nicolas Guillemette, National Manager, Coastal Engineering and Marine Works, WSP Canada
Nicolas Guillemette holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master degree in environmental hydraulics, specializing in the fields of coastal engineering and marine works.

Nicolas has been involved in a diversity of high-profile projects as department manager and technical specialist for coastal engineering works with applications for shoreline protection, navigation, harbour and waterfront development as well as dredging and rehabilitation of a contaminated site. He realized a wide range of hydrotechnical projects as a technical specialist for the design of coastal structures, water quality of effluent discharges as well as coastal hazard risk assessments. He also has significant experience in coastal and ocean modelling and has undertaken numerous marine surveys and metocean studies.


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