Across Atlantic Canada, there is a significant level of concern about changing weather patterns and coastal erosion.

Four in ten residents have noticed a new type of species in their area over the past few years, most commonly reporting unfamiliar bugs, spiders, or birds.

April 22nd, 2021


With changing weather patterns and coastal erosion occurring worldwide, how concerned are Atlantic Canadians about environmental changes? Results from our recent survey suggest there is a significant level of concern across the region. Over eight in ten residents (81%) report being extremely or somewhat concerned with changing weather patterns. Concern is highly consistent across the region, although women (87%) are more likely than men (76%) to be concerned. Additionally, concern increases among those with higher education levels. 

Turning to coastal erosion, over three-quarters (77%) of residents are extremely or mostly concerned about this issue. Residents of PEI are more concerned (88%) compared to residents in the other three provinces. Once again, women (83%) are notably more concerned than men (71%) and the level of concern toward coastal erosion is elevated among residents with a higher education level.


Another sign of changing climate is the prevalence of new species. We asked residents, unaided, if they have noticed any new types of species in the area they live over the past few years. Nearly four in ten residents report having seen a new type of species (37%), while over four in ten have not (43%) and seventeen percent are unsure. Across the region, residents of Newfoundland & Labrador are less likely to have seen a new type of species. Residents over the age of 34 years are more likely than younger residents to report seeing a new species.

Those who reported seeing a new species, most commonly mention a type of insect or spider (40%), citing insects such as beetles or ticks. A similar portion also reports seeing new types of birds (36%), such as songbirds, turkeys or birds of prey. Fewer residents mention seeing new types of mammals (10%) or sea life (6%).

Residents of PEI are most likely to report seeing a new type of insect or spider (49%), while residents of Newfoundland & Labrador are more likely to have seen other types of species (26%), such as invasive plants, slugs, or frogs.

This survey was conducted from March 30, 2021 – April 7, 2021 with 2,782 Atlantic Canadians (including residents in: NB: n=840; PEI: n=196; NS: n=1,303; NL: n=443) from Narrative Research’s online panel, East Coast Voice. As a non-probability sample (i.e., a panel sample where residents have joined a panel to share their opinions), and in accordance with CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards, a margin of error is not applied. 

Narrative Research,, is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies. As a non-partisan, 100% Canadian-owned research company, Narrative Research is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services. Visit to join Atlantic Canada’s largest panel, and share your opinions.

The questions included in this release were the following:

  • How concerned are you with each of the following…
    • Changing weather patterns
    • Coastal erosion
  • In the past few years, have you personally noticed in the area where you live any types of species (bugs, fish, birds, animals) that you had never noticed before in your area?
  • What new types of species have you seen?

For more information, please contact:

Margaret Brigley, CEO & Partner: 902.493.3830 (W); 902.222.7066 (M),


Margaret Chapman, COO & Partner: 902.493.3834 (W); 902.222.4048 (M),

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