Forillon shoreline protection

In pursuit of reducing the shoreline and infrastructure’s vulnerability to coastal hazards, Parks Canada selected WSP to evaluate the state of various structures and address ongoing issues related to climate change, erosion, and maintenance and repair.

Established in 1970, the Forillon National Park in Quebec spans 244km2 along the outskirts of the Gaspe Peninsula. It boasts a breathtaking scenery of forests, sea coast, salt marshes, sand dunes, cliffs, and the eastern end of the Appalachians. It features a collection of infrastructures including access roads, parking lots, a fishing and recreational harbour, and facilities that support Quebec’s thriving tourism industry.


Climate Change Impact on Coastal Infrastructures

Over the years, repeated damage to coastal infrastructures caused by erosion exacerbated by climate change frequently rendered the need for costly maintenance and repairs. In addition, access roads and infrastructures became increasingly vulnerable to coastal submersion and erosion, threatening the long-term conservation value of the park. Anticipating the potential long-term consequences of delayed action, Parks Canada proactively pursued the initiative to implement solutions that would reduce the coastal vulnerability of infrastructures by retaining WSP to assess the erosion and flooding phenomena and develop sustainable solutions.


Our Approach

In pursuit of developing resilient technical solutions for preserving enduring operational services and conservation value of the park, our team undertook coastal analyses to characterize and quantify the coastal hazards along the Forillon National Park peninsula. To characterize the physical environment, we performed a combination of several field survey campaigns (topography, bathymetry, and geophysical), hydrodynamics analyses (water levels, waves, currents, ice cover and storm surges) and coastal dynamics analyses (geomorphology and sediment transport).

List of primary services

  • Bathymetry, topography, and geophysical surveys
  • Coastal systems and geomorphological evolution characterization
  • Hydrodynamic characterization
  • Hydrodynamic modeling
  • Evaluation of climate change impact on the hydrodynamic and sedimentary regimes
  • Coastal erosion and flooding issues characterization
  • Design criteria and concerns definition
  • Solution development and analysis (e.g., infrastructure relocation, beach nourishment, rock revetment)
  • Preliminary design drawings preparation
  • Drawing and specifications and preparation for temporary stabilization works



Throughout the project, our team focused on conducting the field programs, coastal processes, numerical modeling work and risk assessment to ensure the development of effective mitigation measures. Solutions were tailored to address the national park’s concerns and studied through feasibility assessments and recommendations based on multicriteria analyses, which considered the technical and economic feasibility, anticipated efficiency, residual risk related to anticipated impacts of climate change and more.