People love to live in places where water and land meet. Shorelines provide work, recreation, living space, mild climates and wonderful views. People are not the only ones drawn to shorelines. Due to their diverse resources and habitats, shorelines tend to be biologically rich and productive places.
Unfortunately, many of the natural features that make shorelines so attractive are often the casualty of human activities. Native trees, shrubs and grasses are cleared to make way for buildings, landscaping and views. Bulkheads, docks and piers displace beaches and erode sediments below the water line. Loss of shoreline vegetation allows contaminants to flow directly into the water. Prime wildlife habitats disappear, taking with them birds, mammals, fish and beneficial insects and fish. The good news is that there are new strategies such as Green Shores for protecting waterfront properties while also protecting and restoring habitats.
-adapted from, Green Shores for Homes Credit and Rating Guide
What is Green Shores?The Green Shores program promotes sustainable use of coastal ecosystems through planning and design that recognizes the ecological features and functions of coastal systems.
Green Shore Principles
- Preserve the integrity or connectivity of coastal processes.
- Maintain or enhance habitat diversity and function (on a local or regional scale).
- Minimize or reduce pollutants to the marine environment.
- Reduce cumulative impacts to the coastal environment.
Case StudiesWe are building a gallery of examples of Green Shores approaches to shoreline development and restoration for a range of shore types and physical settings, including alternatives to hard methods of shore protection. The project example gallery is intended to address a range of coastal development issues, such as brown field re-development and residential waterfront development, including public space, walkways and park areas. A list of case studies and links to a report for each is available on the right hand side of this page.
We encourage submission of other case examples by using our Green Shores Case Study Template
How can you use Green Shores?Green Shores provides options and tools for a wide range of planning, design and construction professionals who are interested in minimizing the environmental impacts of their projects in a cost effective manner. For home owners and communities, the stories, resources and examples presented here can inspire you to make choices that will be beneficial to everyone in the long term.
About the Green Shores ProgramThe Green Shores approach was developed in response to interest by local planners, civic officials, land developers, and property owners who participated in public workshops based on the Stewardship Series guide Coastal Shore Stewardship: A Guide for Planners, Builders and Developers. Participants recognized the need for coastal stewardship but pointed out the lack of alternative design options, tools such as a checklist of development considerations and accessible information on ways to minimize the impacts of human settlements on shores and shore systems.
The Green Shores program team is formed of a diverse group of professionals with considerable experience in coastal processes, coastal engineering and habitat assessment, as well as Green Building rating and certification initiatives in British Columbia. Currently, program oversight is supported by a Technical Advisory Group to SCBC.
We thank the following the following organizations for their contributions to the Green Shores program: Bridge Coastal Legacy Fund; BC Ministry of Environment; BC Real Estate Foundation; Comox/Strathcona Regional District; District of Squamish; Ducks Unlimited; Environment Canada, Eco Action; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Habitat Conservation Trust Fund; Sunshine Coast Regional District; Natural Resources Canada.
Coastal Development Rating SystemA major component of Green Shores is the Coastal Development Rating System (CDRS), a tool intended for use by designers, builders and owners to guide Green Shores design and assess design performance. The CDRS applies to multi-family residential and commercial waterfront development projects as well as to infrastructure development (such as public walkways) and shore protection works in public spaces (parks and recreational areas).
The Green Shores program works with multi-disciplinary teams to apply certification standards (CDRS) and fosters education and planning frameworks for coastal professionals, waterfront homeowners, governments and policy-makers. The Green Shores approach may provide a promising alternative to achieve multiple goals such as climate resilience, shoreline stabilization, and habitat restoration as well as increased esthetic and economic values. Green Shores is intended to be applicable to all coastal systems and could be national or international in scope. Documents for this system are available on the right of this page.
We offer sincere thanks to the numerous individuals and organizations who are involved in and contribute to the Green Shores program. Their donations, support, guidance and information have been indispensable to the ongoing work of Green Shores. We also wish to recognize the following partner organizations for contributing funding to Green Shores 2013 projects:
The technical foundation of the Green Shores approach is set out in Coastal Shore Stewardship: A Guide For Planners, Builders and Developers on Canada’s Pacific Coast.
Feedback and Questions
Please contact us if you have any questions or comments about the Green Shores Project. Send your emails to email@example.com.