Sylvan Lake plans for climate change

Sylvan Lake among Alberta municipalities to adopt a Climate Resilience Express Action Plan

Flooding and wind storms could occur more frequently as the climate changes, says an action plan developed for Sylvan Lake.

Last year, Town of Sylvan Lake was one of seven Alberta communities to develop a Climate Resilience Express Action Plan through a program funded by the federal and provincial governments and not-for-profit organizations.

Weather data shows that it is getting warmer in Central Alberta, and Sylvan Lake specifically. Records from 10 climate stations were averaged together and indicated that mean temperatures have risen 1.5 C from 1917 to 2016 in the area. Over the last 50 years, the warming rate has been speeding up.

As temperatures continue to rise, the area can expected to see more severe weather events. Longer, drier summers and warmer winters with more snow are projected.

Through workshops and other input 15 climate-related risks were identified for Sylvan Lake. Four were identified as requiring immediate action: windstorms, shoreline erosion and wildlife habitat stress, increased water temperatures and reduced water availability and overland flooding.

Town communications officer Joanne Gaudet said the plan provides a useful overview of climate change issues and will mesh well with other planning work.

The municipality has identified issues such as shoreline erosion and water quality in other plans and is already taking action. To improve environmental sustainability, rain barrel and toilet rebate programs are already in place and a compost program has just been launched.

“We’ve done our environmental master plan so we’ve identified all of our local assets and we’re aware of potential risks.

“It’s not like this is breaking news. It’s just a nice founding document for all of our future developments and projects moving forward to consider.”

A municipal sustainability plan is in the works that will address many of the issues identified in the resiliency project.

“Something like this resiliency plan is kind of driver to the (municipal sustainability plan).”

The action plan adopted by Sylvan Lake includes a number of measures in recognition of the challenges ahead. They include more monitoring of the lake, providing incentives to improve water conservation and developing a regional water supply system.

To address overland flooding, the plan suggests making landowners more aware of how to manage stormwater and to do more watershed management planning.

Given the danger of windstorms, more boater safety education is proposed along with a public alert system for lake users, perhaps using the lighthouse.

To limit shoreline erosion, more environmental reserves could be created along the edges of the lake and more done to make landowners and municipalities aware of the best wetland and shoreline management practices.

Not all of climate changes predicted impacts are negative, says the report. Warmer summers and winters could boost tourism.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Councillors want to represent Red Deer at AUMA

City council approves endorsement

Cannabis smoke raises health concerns

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Avid Penhold climber Catlin Hannah’s death a reminder of the dangers of scrambling

Hannah never returned from his Mount Smuts attempt on Aug. 12.

Children, elderly at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

VANCOUVER — Thick smoke blanketing British Columbia communities far from any flames… Continue reading

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the… Continue reading

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

ESCUMINAC, N.B. — Ottawa has announced $189 million for an employment insurance… Continue reading

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in next year’s election

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau will run again in the 2019 federal election.… Continue reading

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

VANCOUVER — More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Several pipeline protesters were released from a British… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month