Shore speaker at Winspear

Coastal engineer will be discussing options for future

The future of the shoreline on the Saanich Peninsula is the subject of a talk at the Mary Winspear Centre on Jan. 24.

Coastal Engineer John Readshaw will be giving a public presentation at the Mary Winspear Centre next week on the future of our shores here on the Saanich Peninsula.

Readshaw’s presentation, entitled “Climate Change and Rising Sea Levels: Adaptation and Resilience” is sponsored by SeaChange Marine Conservation Society and the Saanich Inlet Protection Society.

Readshaw leads the coastal engineering group at SNC Lavalin and has a worldwide reputation for the application of up-to-date technology and creative insight to the solution of challenging design and construction issues in the coastal and ocean environment. Over the years, Readshaw has been studying the effects of rising sea levels and said we need to start rethinking the ways in which we interact with our shorelines.

“We have only recently started to understand the complex and dynamic nature of our shores in a rising sea level world,” he explained.

“They will move, change and evolve in response not just to natural forces such as the wind and tide but also to our attempts to shape them to our own needs and in ways that we have not experienced so far to date.”

Readshaw believes that rising sea levels mean that traditional static structures such as seawalls, designed to halt erosion, may have unexpected destabilizing effects on our shorelines and intertidal environment. In his presentation he will talk about various solutions to help landowners prepare for the future.

“This is all about adaptability because our environment is changing and we need to stay one step ahead if we are to continue to live in close proximity to our shorelines,” he said.

— With files from SeaChange Marine Conservation Society