Coastal Protection Act Information

Update: February 26, 2024


On February 26, 2024, the Government of Nova Scotia announced The Future of our Coastline: A plan to protect people, homes and nature from climate change. This comprehensive plan has 15 actions for property owners, municipalities, and the province to keep coastal homes, communities, and natural areas safer from the impacts of climate change, such as rising sea level and more frequent and intense storms which lead to coastal flooding and erosion. You can read it at


The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) has been working on Coastal Protection Regulations for their Municipality. Updates and information can be found on their website click here. 


Background Information

The Coastal Protection Act has been established by the Nova Scotia Government to help protect natural ecosystems. 

Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change (ECC) provided an information and feedback session for Engineers Nova Scotia engineers, on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021. The presentation on the CPA is available click here. CBCL Ltd. also provided a presentation with additional information regarding the Coastal Erosion Risk Factor Assessment (CERFA) standard and tool development, available click here. 

Engineers Nova Scotia gathered input and feedback from engineers who work in the area of coastal engineering at a session in September, 2021. This feedback was sent to ECC as part of their consultation process. A consultation summary report entitled "Coastal Protection Act Regulations: What we Heard report" was released in March 2022 and is available click here.  

ECC is continuing work on the Coastal Protection Act Regulations, and the supporting tools and materials required for its implementation.




The final report on the development of the erosion risk assessment tool is available click here.  The CERFA tool has been developed for use by designated professionals (DPs) hired by landowners to determine a site-specific horizontal building setback under the CPA. The tool is intended to guide DPs to determine a risk-based setback result for individual properties in a consistent manner. The tool is designed for use throughout our diverse coastline in which conditions can vary significantly over short stretches of shoreline. It achieves this by basing the resulting setback on the combination, severity, and interaction of erosion risk factors present at the site.

The final version of the CERFA tool and report, and the actual regulations may differ from the contents of the documents available on this page. Engineers who may be interested in performing erosion assessments as a DP can provide comments  directly to Gordon Smith or to


Additional Background Information

An article discussing the legislation was in the 2019 issue of The Engineer, and is available click here.   

There was also an article in the Chronicle Herald on October 22, 2020, available click here.


A consultation and feedback session was hosted by Nova Scotia Environment on March 15, 2021, to provide additional information regarding the Act and Regulations, and the Coastal Erosion Risk Assessment (CERFA) tool being developed by CBCL Ltd.. Over 15 members attended this online session, and provided feedback on the tool and processes being developed. A copy of the information session presentation (not including the CERFA tool as it is still under development) is available click here. 


Engineers are encouraged to review information related to the Coastal Protection Act, and to provide additional feedback, questions, or concerns to Gordon Smith, Strategic Lead, Coastal Protection Act, at


You can also contact Kris Dove, FEC, MBA, P.Eng., Chief Operating Officer, at to discuss the Coastal Protection Act and its impact on engineers and engineering, or for any other Professional Practice related issues.