March 24, 2016 4:27 pm

Province to invest over $16 million to protect Richmond’s infrastructure from rising sea levels

The City of Richmond can be seen from the air.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
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The B.C. government is committing $16.6 million toward flood mitigation in Richmond.

The funding will help the city re-build four pump stations that have reached the end of their functional lifespan and enhance 1,750 metres of the north dike to accommodate rising sea levels induced by climate change.

The province says Richmond is the highest-risk area in B.C. for coastal flooding and the new investment will protect provincial and national infrastructure, including the Vancouver International Airport and SkyTrain.

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“It will help protect about 200,000 people, businesses and bridges in Richmond,” said Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto.

READ MORE: Canada in 2050: a land of climate-change extremes at current emissions levels

The announcement is part of the public-safety funding announced in the 2016 provincial budget.

The City of Richmond will pitch in $8.3 million toward the project.

Richmond is approximately one metre above sea level. The city is protected from the Strait of Georgia and the Fraser River by 49 kilometres of dikes.

Estimates of mean sea level rise by 2100 for the B.C. coast range from 80 centimetres at Nanaimo to 1.20 metres in the Fraser Delta.

Richmond will be required to raise dikes by 1.2 metres to accommodate these changes, according to the province.

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