Shoreline management and protection

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site

The Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site 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.

Parks Canada is taking action to help protect and preserve an important part of Canada's history that is under threat of being lost to coastal erosion and sea level rise. The Flood Protection Project outlined below identifies the steps that will be taken.  

Flood Protection Project

Sea level rise combined with coastal erosion and increasing storm intensity and frequency are elevating flood potential and the loss of cultural resources at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. Parks Canada is taking action to help protect and preserve an important part of Canada's history that is currently impacted by these factors.

The Flood Protection Project will help protect the Fortress of Louisbourg from damages to the reconstructed buildings, cultural resources and ecologically sensitive areas. Parks Canada has sought the advice of marine geologists and engineers to provide solutions that are practical and effective to minimize the risk of flooding.

Parks Canada, in collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, has conducted an environmental assessment of the project and identified mitigation measures for potential impacts related to fish habitat and the environment. Parks Canada has a proven track record in ensuring projects do not cause significant adverse environmental effects. 

The Flood Protection Project consists of two components: Barrier Beach and the Quay Wall. 

Flood protection projectFlood protection project

Barrier Beach

Barrier beach
Barrier beach

Barrier Beach is one of the most fragile features along the coastline of the Fortress of Louisbourg and it is at risk of breaching in the very near future. The project involves the construction of two groynes,  protective structures of stones that will extend from the shore into the water to prevent beach from washing away, along with beach nourishment and dredging sediment.

Parks Canada has engaged directly with lobster fishers, including those who fish in and around the project footprints. This project’s impacts to fish habitat will be offset through measures that maintain or improve fisheries productivity, by creating or restoring productive fish habitat. 

Barrier Beach work will start Monday, December 18, 2017 from 7:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and will continue until March 2018.

This work will involve a fleet of tandem trucks or trailers hauling material from a pit or quarry to the project site, approximately 60-100 truckloads per day. Whenever possible as it relates to weather, the trucks will use the Louisbourg Bypass Road in order to avoid impacts to the community of Louisbourg. However, it is likely at times of significant snow, the traffic will be required to travel through Route 22.

We apologize in advance for the short-term disruption during this work, as you may hear an increase in noise levels and truck traffic. Whenever possible, we will minimize this to the greatest extent possible. 

Quay Wall

Quay wall
Quay wall

The height of the Quay Wall will be raised one metre to minimize the risk of flooding, protect existing cultural resources and support positive visitor experiences. Once this work is completed, the Quay Wall will function properly and receive a much-needed facelift. The increase in height will be met with a higher embankment to view out to the community of Louisbourg.

Phase 1: East end of quay – April to June 2018
Phase 2: Middle section of quay – October to December 2018
Phase 3: West end of quay – March to July 2019

Parks Canada will schedule this work outside of the peak tourism season to minimize impacts for visitors.

If you have questions, comments or would like to find out more information about the Flood Protection Project, please email

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