The default Municipal Climate Change Action Plan (MCCAP) (1.11 MB) was completed and approved by Bridgewater Town Council on January 13, 2014. The Plan was developed as a mandatory requirement of the Municipal Funding Agreement for the Gas Tax and enables Gas Tax expenditures on climate change related projects in the coming years.
Through consultations with experts and partner organizations, the plan identifies nine significant climate change concerns facing the community of Bridgewater in the coming decades, including risks to municipal infrastructure, community health, and the local economy. Current climate science was used to identify extreme weather risks facing the region, as well as gradual climatic changes that will affect natural ecosystems as well as primary resource industries such as farming, fishing, and forestry.
The Plan establishes a set of strategies and actions that can be taken by the Town starting with a 5-7 year timeframe to address both adaptation (responding to a changing climate), as well as mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions). The continued implementation of the ICSP was identified as a key action for both climate change adaptation and mitigation.
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How Was The Plan Created?
The following approach was taken to achieve the mandatory deliverables of the MCCAP:
1. Form the MCCAP Planning Team – guided by the Planning Department, this internal ad-hoc working group consisted of members of Town staff and Council. The Planning Team guided the completion of all parts of the planning process. A Terms of Reference for the Planning Team was been developed.
2. Collaborate with Regional Emergency Management Organization (REMO) – a significant portion of the MCCAP was found to overlap with the emergency planning work that REMO is developing. The Nova Scotia Emergency Management Organization's Hazard Risk Vulnerability Assessment (HRVA) model also used a risk-management framework to investigate and adapt to climate change related hazards including hurricanes, etc. The Planning Team collaborated with the other REMO units to complete the HRVA models for climate change related hazards that affect the Town of Bridgewater. Ongoing collaboration with REMO ensured that climate hazards and emergency response plans were understood on the local as well as regional level.
3. Complete a technical vulnerability assessment of the LaHave River – staff identified the effects of climate change on the LaHave River as an element that warranted special attention during this planning process. Municipal and other built infrastructure as well as transportation networks may be significantly affected as sea level rises and other climate change-related transformations occur, resulting in economic and social impacts. In order to develop a proactive stance on adaptation, a thorough flood risk and erosion study of the river was completed in partnership with NSCC's Applied Geomatics Research Group. This work also contributed positively to the development of the Downtown / Waterfront Master Plan, as it will allow for planning within the ecological limits of the river.
4. Other research and stakeholder consultations – the Planning Department complemented the work achieved above by conducting internal research and stakeholder consultations to fill any gaps in the planning process. Affected facilities and infrastructure were analysed through consultations with the Engineering department and other Town staff. Community impacts were assessed through consultations with external stakeholders (public health, department of environment, community services, etc.), as well a public meeting that was hosted through the Community Sustainability Network. The mitigation section of the plan was developed internally by building on work already underway through the ICSP. All stakeholders were consulted on possible actions, and Town Council was consulted on the final action plan.
The following stakeholder groups were consulted in the creation of the MCCAP, due either to their specific expertise in areas related to climate change and adaptation, or the intrinsic value of their opinions and ideas:
- General Public
- Town Engineering Department
- Town Parks, Recreation & Culture Department
- Bridgewater Public Service Commission
- South Shore Health – Public Health Services
- NS Department of Community Services - Lunenburg District Office
- Lunenburg County Regional Emergency Management Organization (REMO)
- South Shore Business Growth Association
- Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation
- Bridgewater Police Department
MCCAP's in Nova Scotia
To learn more about the planning and financial requirements for municipal MCCAP's in Nova Scotia, please visit the Canada - Nova Scotia Infrastructure Secretariat website.