Concurrent Session: Floodplain restoration in FEMA-regulated mapped floodplains
3:20 PM - 4:40 PM Wed
CO-AUTHOR: Jennifer Western Hauser, Wisconsin Wetlands Association
TITLE: Accelerating investments in floodplain restoration: Facilitated discussion and listening session
ABSTRACT: Floodplain restoration can reduce flood risks and damages, improve water quality, and reestablish healthy conditions for fish and wildlife. Opportunities to reconnect floodplains are also abundant across the state. Given the many benefits that can be achieved, why do we see so little floodplain restoration work in Wisconsin? In this session, we’ll host a community conversation about the need for and opportunities and challenges associated with floodplain restoration in Wisconsin. The discussion will be structured to draw from conference participants’ experiences in Wisconsin and other states to identify actionable opportunities to help accelerate investments in floodplain restoration in Wisconsin's flood prone watersheds. We will cover perspectives on how to simplify or better support compliance with regulatory requirements such as hydrologic and hydraulics modeling and national flood insurance map updates. We will also explore what financial and technical supports may be available but underutilized through state agencies, regional planning commissions, and the private sector.
BIO: Erin O’Brien joined the staff of Wisconsin Wetlands Association in 2004. Her work focuses on strengthening state laws and regulations governing wetland management, building capacity to help integrate wetland conservation into state-sponsored programs, and providing support to communities interested in restoring wetlands to solve problems. Erin has a Master’s degree in Land Resources from UW-Madison.