Stewardship Centre for British Columbia Society

The Jericho Beach restoration project received Green Shores Gold designation in 2013. (Photo: Nick Page)

In support of three demonstration projects to help refine the Green Shores certification process and provide educational opportunities.

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Green Shores Coastal Development Rating System

Green Shores is a program that supports alternatives to traditional “hard” shoreline treatments (e.g. retaining walls). It provides resources for “soft” shore designs that preserve the integrity of coastal processes, maintain or enhance habitat and minimize water pollution.

Soft shore treatments are less expensive, more resilient to climate change impacts such as sea level rise, and preserve the natural beauty of shorelines. The Green Shores concept is similar to LEED for buildings, but targeted to the built environment along shorelines.

Our grant helped the Stewardship Centre for British Columbia Society to test the Green Shores certification process using the Coastal Development Rating System (CDRS), a tool to help designers, builders and owners create Green Shores designs and assess the performance of those designs.

The rating system was piloted on three coastal shoreline developments – all large-scale sites (municipal park, mixed use commercial-residential and institutional). The project delivered:

  • Detailed case studies;
  • Curriculum and workshop modules based on case studies;
  • Professional development training;
  • Four workshops that were attended by more than 150 professionals, government staff, politicians, landowners and conservation groups;
  • Initial development of an effective business model for the CDRS certification process.

The Stewardship Centre is leading the sector in developing, evaluating and sharing progressive shoreline development design standards. Green Shores is the first rating system to address shoreline development and design issues.

This project generated interest in implementing the CDRS at both the individual project (planning) and local government (regulatory) level. Three case studies and two certified developments are now available for demonstration and education among land use professionals (designers, planners, engineers, developers) and decision makers.

Green Shores was the winner of “Best Environmental Idea” to address sea level rise at the 2014 SFU RISE competition; a finalist in the 2010 Real Estate Foundation Land Awards; and the Green Shores Gold-rated Jericho Beach restoration project was a recent winner of the City of Vancouver’s 2014 Urban Design Awards in Landscape, Public Space, and Infrastructure. Green Shores is also referenced in the SLR Adaptation Primer and Preparing for Climate Change – An Implementation Guide for Local Governments.