About Coasts Under Stress

The Impact of Social and Environmental Restructuring on Environmental and Human Health in Canada.

Coasts Under Stress was a five-year project that started in April 2000. It is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), with additional funding from participating universities and partners in government, business, non-governmental organizations and First Nation groups.

Coasts Under Stress was a unique experiment in genuinely interdisciplinary research. The project used a set of carefully-constructed complementary case studies on the East and West Coasts of Canada to achieve an integrated analysis of the long- and short-term impacts of socio-environmental restructuring on the health of people, their communities and the environment. In our work, 70 natural and social scientists and 167 trainees are working together with local communities on the two coasts. The work, built around the unifying thread of environmental and human health, produced a broader multi-layered perspective on the management of natural resources than currently exists: Coasts Under Stress combined formal scientific (natural and social) and humanist analysis with the lived experience of coastal people.


The goal was to offer policymakers an informed awareness of the implications, both positive and negative, of social and environmental restructuring, so that they will be able to shape future policy more effectively.