Learning from Connected Communities Nature-Based Case Study Webinar Series: Dune Restoration

Climate change is here, it is happening, and it is impacting New Brunswickers across the province and other Atlantic Canada residents. Nature-based and natural approaches to adapting to climate change focus on implementing infrastructure that restores and protects natural areas while removing greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere, reducing flooding and stormwater surge risks, and supporting biodiversity. There is interest and support for nature-based climate solutions from residents (see public survey of opinion results here) and there are many examples of successful projects across the region (see maps of case studies Here). Municipalities, community organizations, and landowners, however, face many barriers and challenges to developing their own nature-based projects including access to funding, materials, knowledgeable contractors, native plants, and more. This first webinar will delve into natural approaches to dune restoration in New Brunswick. Winds and waves deposit sand in coastal areas forming sand dunes, which are covered in vegetation overtime. Vegetation helps to prevent erosion of the dunes as well as acting as a barrier between the ocean and inland ecosystems like forests, wetlands, and salt marshes. Dune restoration involves restoring that crucial vegetation and developing unique ways to stabilize the sand dunes, whether it be through marram grass planting, re-using Christmas trees to aid stability, or more nature-based techniques. This webinar heard from Marion Tétégan Simon from Valores research institute and Julie Cormier from Vision H2O. Speakers: Marion Tétégan Simon, VALORES Research Institute, Project Adaptation Marion Tétégan Simon, Director of Research at VALORĒS obtained a Master’s degree in Geosciences and Environment and a PhD in Soil Science in 2011. Since 2005, she has had a multidisciplinary career in innovation and applied research, working with academic institutions, communities and industries in France and Canada. She joined the VALORĒS research institute team in 2014. Since 2020, she manages and supervises the research poles at VALORĒS related to climate change adaptation of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems as well as the valorization and restoration of natural, waste and coastal resources. Dr. Tétégan Simon and her research team work with communities and various industrial sectors to build resilience to climate change. For over 10 years, several initiatives in collaboration with municipalities on dune and beach erosion monitoring have been carried out by VALORĒS in the Acadian Peninsula as part of the Adaptation Péninsule Acadienne project. Also, since December 2020, she has been the New Brunswick representative on the Sustainable Development Advisory Council; with a mandate to provide advice to the Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change on sustainable development issues, in addition to reviewing and commenting on drafts of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (the official version of which has been available online since fall 2022). Julie Cormier, Executive Director, Vision H2O Julie Cormier is the Executive Director of Vision H2O, the Cap-Acadie watershed group. She has been working with the group since 2011. Her work on the dunes began in her first year with the dune inventory project, which consisted of checking the condition of the dunes in the fall and doing restoration work in the spring. Her years on this project have allowed her to connect with coastal communities and see the incredible changes that have occurred on the coastline in a short period of time.