British Columbia is one of the few coastal jurisdictions in North America that does not have a coastal law or strategy. With escalating issues threatening its coastal areas such as rising sea levels, declines in wild salmon, and increased marine debris and plastics, the Government of BC has the opportunity to address this long-standing gap in its legal framework and show national leadership in coastal marine management.
In January 2020, we produced a brief titled Caring for our Coast: Lessons for BC from Coastal Management Laws around the World which provided examples of coastal strategies and laws throughout the world that BC could emulate. This report will answer the following questions by focusing on Washington State and Nova Scotia. Both jurisdictions have implemented coastal laws that address the most significant threats to their coastal environments and facilitate cooperation with other levels of government.