Government of Canada Invests in Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site

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Parks Canada begins phase two of flood protection from sea level rise

October 15, 2018                           Louisbourg, Nova Scotia            Parks Canada Agency

Parks Canada is responsible for protecting and presenting nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage. Our national historic sites reflect the rich and varied heritage of our nation and provide an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about our diverse history.

Parks Canada is beginning phase two of an important flood protection project at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. This federal infrastructure investment project was highlighted today by Rodger Cuzner, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton–Canso, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna. This work will help protect and preserve an important part of Canada’s history that is threatened by sea level rise and coastal erosion.

Due to climate change, sea level rise combined with increasing storm intensity and frequency are elevating flood potential. To protect the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, the height of the Quay Wall will be raised by one metre. In addition, reinforcement and overall restorative work will be conducted on the wall. This work will minimize the risk of flooding and provide critical protection of existing heritage resources and natural ecosystem features found at the site, while supporting safe, reliable and high-quality visitor experiences.

The first phase of the project involved rehabilitating Barrier Beach, which was completed in March 2018. Phase two of the work to the Quay Wall will be done in three parts, working in sections over the course of the next several months. Work is beginning at the east end of the quay, with this work coming to completion in December 2018. Work at the west end of the Quay Wall will begin in January 2019 and continue until June 2019. The final stage is the middle portion which work will begin in September 2019 and be completed in March 2020.

As part of the federal infrastructure investment program, the Government of Canada is investing $9.2 million in the flood protection project, which was announced in August 2016. This project is part of the larger $66 million in funding previously announced for various infrastructure projects at Parks Canada places across Cape Breton Island.

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our generation – we must act collectively and act now. Canada’s network of protected areas play an important role in helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change by protecting national historic sites and national parks located in coastal areas and prone to flooding concerns.

The Fortress of Louisbourg is an iconic historic site and the country’s largest archaeological site, with enormous historical and cultural value for Canadians. Parks Canada’s responsibility is to ensure this place is protected for future generations.