Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site Flood Protection Project – Phase Two Federal Infrastructure Investment Program

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Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site is the largest historical reconstruction project in North America. The original settlement was founded in 1713 by the French and developed over several decades into a thriving centre for fishing and trade. The site laid untouched well into modern times, until 1964 when reconstruction began at the site. An average of 82,000 people visit this site every year.


Project Name:
Quay Wall Reconstruction

Project Description: Sea level rise combined with increasing storm intensity and frequency are elevating flood potential at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. The Quay Wall is the permanent seawall barrier that protects the period site from the sea. Over time, the wall has significantly deteriorated and a stabilization strategy was identified to prevent the reconstructed town site from flooding.

The project consists of two components – work to Barrier Beach and the Quay Wall. The phase one work to Barrier Beach began in October 2017 and was completed this past spring. The phase two work on the Quay Wall will be conducted in three parts from fall 2018 until spring 2020 and scheduled as follows:

    East end of quay – September to December 2018
    West end of quay – January to June 2019
    Middle of quay – September 2019 to March 2020

Barrier Beach was one of the most fragile features along the coastline of the national historic site, and was at risk. This portion of the project involved the construction of two groynes (rigid structures that prevent the beaches from being washed away), Barrier Beach nourishment, as well as dredging (removing) sediment at the eastern corner of the Quay Wall.

During phase two, the height of the Quay Wall will be raised one metre and restoration work will be completed. This will minimize the risk of flooding, protect existing heritage resources and natural ecosystem features, and will support positive visitor experiences and public health and safety.

Partnering against climate change

Canada’s network of protected areas play an important role in helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Parks Canada is conducting important research within our protected areas that contributes to our understanding of climate change.

The Bioarchaeology Field School is a great example of other work underway that is addressing climate change, specifically coastal erosion. Through this project, Parks Canada is working with the University of New Brunswick to conduct research and analysis that helps future conservation efforts at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. This partnership benefits both the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site and University of New Brunswick through shared learning, research, and analysis.

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