The natural environment we value (forests, fresh water, habitat) both needs and provides protection from the impacts of climate change. Natural areas hold cultural significance, provide clean air and water and cool down urban areas. Soils and vegetation capture rainwater, protect the foreshore and provide shade.
Regional ecosystems include natural and urban forests, wetlands, riparian areas near streams, peatlands and marine areas. Marine areas provide habitat for fish and wildlife, including endangered killer whales, salmon, and shorebirds. The ocean has spiritual, cultural and ceremonial value for local First Nations, and it provides traditional foods. Salt marshes and seagrasses can store carbon and mitigate flooding in coastal communities.