A Vision for Smart Floodplain Management

With funding from an NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant, Willamette Partnership is helping communities build an integrated approach to floodplain management in Oregon.

Floodplains are the nexus between water and land. That point of interaction gives them a unique and vital economic and ecological role. Healthy, resilient communities require functioning floodplains to reduce property damage from floods, recharge groundwater, support fish and wildlife habitat, clean water, and provide open spaces to play.

But we have known since the 1940s that the way we manage floodplains is often inconsistent with providing these functions. Communities and their leaders and planners want to get floodplain management right, but it’s not easy. We need a new vision for smart floodplain management, built on strategies and tools that have been shown to reduce risk to communities and support natural systems.

Read the strategies for smart floodplain management here.