Coastal Hazards

Prince Edward Island’s coastline is always changing. The coastline is shaped by the forces of wind, waves, tides, and changes in sea level. Two of the most important coastal hazards on Prince Edward Island are coastal erosion and coastal flooding.  

Where can I get information about coastal hazards for a specific property?

You can request a free Coastal Hazard Assessment to find out more about the vulnerability of a property to coastal hazards. 

How can I find out more about coastal hazards in PEI?

The PEI Climate Hazard & Risk Information System (CHRIS) is an interactive map portal that shows different climate hazards that affect PEI’s communities and properties. You can find information about areas that are affected by coastal flooding, coastal flooding depths, and coastal change and erosion data for the past 50 years.

Where can I get information for developers and design professionals?

You can download a Watershed Flood Projections Report which will provide projected flood water elevations that can be used in the design of a property or site. 

What can I do about coastal hazards that affect my property or my community?

To learn more about coastal hazards in PEI and what you can do to protect your home, you can take a free, online course called Protecting PEI Homes from Flooding and Erosion.  

This course has been developed by the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, in partnership with the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action and the University of Prince Edward Island’s ClimateSense program. 

You can use CLIMAtlantic's Coastal Adaptation Toolkit. This toolkit has been created to help coastal communities and property owners plan for the effects of climate change. The toolkit offers advice on how to best prepare for coastal climate impacts

What is Coastal Erosion?

Coastal erosion is the gradual wearing away of land along the coastline due to natural processes such as waves, currents, tides, and weathering.  It can be gradual or episodic and provides an important source of sand to create and maintain beaches and sand dunes. The rate of erosion varies across the island and depends on the exposure, local geology, drainage, vegetation, and land use. Historical rates of erosion around the island can be provided through Coastal Hazard Assessments. As sea levels continue to rise, coastal erosion is expected to increase particularly with stronger storms and lower amounts of protective sea ice during the winter months.

What is Coastal Flooding?

Coastal flooding happens when seawater temporarily flows over low-lying areas near the coast (that are normally dry). This typically happens as a result of storm surges. A storm surge occurs when the air pressure drops during a large storm, such as a hurricane, and the winds further push the water towards the shore. Storm surge induced flooding can be particularly damaging if it happens during a high tide. Over time, as sea levels continue to rise, coastal flooding events will reach higher elevations and impact areas further inland. 

What is the difference between coastal flooding and inland flooding?

CHRIS shows both areas at risk to both coastal flooding and inland flooding.  Visit the Flood Risks in PEI video to learn more.  

Who can I contact for more information?

Please contact the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action if you need assistance with these coastal hazard tools and resources at

Published date: 
May 17, 2024