Researcher retrieving data at Roberts Bank of the Fraser River estuary which encompasses intertidal, nearshore

sub-tidal and salt marsh environments. Photo credit: Eric Balke

Living with Water brings together a diverse, multidisciplinary team to help communities living on British Columbia’s South Coast prepare and adapt for sea level rise and flooding.

Climate change projections show BC’s South Coast, including the Fraser River Delta, Burrard Inlet and Squamish Delta, could be facing sea level rise of up to one metre in the next eight decades as well as increased flood scale and frequency—with resulting risks to residents, critical infrastructures, food security, and biodiversity. 

​Boundary Bay’s salt marshes are part of the South Coast region being studied by the Living with Water project with the support of partners including the City of Surrey. Photo: City of Surrey.

Coastal flooding spans geographic and jurisdictional boundaries, and as such requires effective tools and frameworks for flood management across shared ecosystems and shorelines, including frameworks for collaboration, integrated policies, and design guidelines.

Living with Water will address this by developing new planning, design and decision-making tools that: 1) foreground community values and Indigenous knowledge and perspectives in coastal flood risk assessment 2) provide decision-support tools for alternative flood adaptation solutions (e.g. nature-based solutions, managed retreat, multi-functional dikes), and 3) support the development of multi-level governance arrangements for regional coastal flood adaptation.

In this video from UBC’s Coastal Adaptation Lab explore the challenges and opportunities that BC communities face in developing an integrated response to sea level rise on their South Coast. 

For more information about Living with Water, read our media release and FAQs, or visit the website. 

Theme Partnership Project: Began December 15, 2020 / Project Duration: Four years.

Research Partners


Principal Investigators

Kees  Lokman

Kees Lokman

Project principal investigator and Associate Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia, and Director of the UBC Coastal Adaptation Lab.


Jantsje Van Loon-Steensma

Jantsje van Loon-Steensma

Assistant Professor Climate Adaptation and Nature Based Flood Protection Water Systems and Global Change Group, Wageningen University and Research

Eric Balke

Eric Balke

Coordinator – South Coast Conservation Land Management Program


Stephanie Chang

Professor, School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) and Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability (IRES) University of British Columbia

Brent Doberstein

Brent Doberstein

Associate Professor, Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo

Maggie Low

Maggie Low

Assistant Professor in the School of Community and Regional Planning, UBC

Dr. Tara Martin

Tara Martin

Professor of Conservation Decision Science in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia


Mathilde Jung

Mathidle Jung

Master’s student at Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands

Julia Kidder

Julia Kidder

PhD Student, University of British Columbia (School of Community & Regional Planning)

Anwen Rees

Anwen Rees

Masters in Resource Management (Planning) Student

Solution Seekers

  • BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
  • City of New Westminster
  • City of Surrey
  • City of Vancouver
  • District of Squamish
  • Squamish First Nation (Skwxwú7mesh)
  • Tsleil-Waututh Nation
  • West Coast Environmental Law