Environmental Strategic Plan

The Environmental Strategic Plan was developed with contributions from Council, staff, various stakeholders and the public, and with guidance from the Environment Committee of Council. It provides a framework and detailed implementation plan linking broad environmental objectives with ongoing City operations, services and policy and provides leadership for the community on environmental sustainability.


The plan provides nine broad objectives and an implementation strategy describing specific goals, actions, timelines, relative costs and ways of measuring progress in preserving the natural beauty and characteristics that help define White Rock. 


Water is a defining characteristic of White Rock, whether the topic is protecting Semiahmoo Bay for its high wildlife and recreational values, assessing sources of contaminants in rainwater runoff, maintaining municipal infrastructure or the quality of drinking water for residents.

  • Protect and Enhance Semiahmoo Bay
  • Manage Rainwater Runoff and Sanitary Waste Appropriately
  • Preserve the Drinking Water Source


Quality of life in the City of White Rock is affected by human activities on the land. Forested areas provide habitat for wildlife and corridors that enable animals to move from one area to another. The urban tree canopy, which includes native and introduced trees, provides many benefits. In addition to providing wildlife habitat, trees help to purify air and water, absorb rainfall and add greatly to the aesthetics and property values in the City. Both humans and wildlife are healthier when toxic pesticide use is eliminated. 

Finally, waste generated by residents and businesses in the City must go somewhere, typically to a landfill. Since local disposal resources were filled long ago, White Rock currently uses the Burns Bog landfill. When Burns Bog reaches capacity, an alternative will need to be found, preferably one that does not simply involve transporting waste long distances for disposal.

  • Protect Wildlife Habitat
  • Protect and Enhance the Tree Canopy
  • Eliminate Cosmetic Pesticide Use
  • Reduce Solid Waste and Promote Recycling


There has been growing awareness among municipalities across the province about climate change and the leadership role municipalities can play in reducing emissions that contribute to climate change. Because energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions are so closely linked to air and air quality, these challenges and objectives are included in the Environmental Strategic Plan. 

Living by the ocean, a community can take clean air for granted. In summer, a cool sea breeze blows inland and in winter, prevailing winds are from the southeast. However, air pollution from vehicle use and other sources (e.g., open burning, wood stoves, fireplaces, regional industrial activities, Cherry Point Refinery) contribute to reduced air quality in the City and in the Region. Bumper to bumper traffic along Marine Drive and in the commercial area, particularly during the busy summer season, contributes fine particulate matter and greenhouse gases. 

The City of White Rock has been working to reduce environmental impacts on air for some time, and illustrated its strong commitment to address climate change by signing the Provincial Climate Charter with the province, the Ministry of Community Services, and over 100 other signatory municipalities in 2007. Addressing climate change will involve reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and providing opportunities to take up existing GHGs in the atmosphere. 

  • Promote Energy Efficiency and GHG Reduction in City Facilities and Operations
  • Promote Energy Efficiency and GHG Reduction in the Community