Issue Area

Flood Resilience

Overview

In the last 10 years, 73% of springtime flood disasters have occurred in inland states. In 2019 alone, states across the Mississippi River region have experienced record-breaking flooding. As a result, states have looked to implement flood mitigation and adaptation practices beyond their existing built infrastructure (such as dams and levees) to establish long-term resilience. Green infrastructure refers to these natural systems such as wetlands or perennial vegetation that provide multifaceted environmental and economic benefits. These systems can mitigate floods and storm surges, filter pollutants, and provide habitat for endangered species. Green infrastructure in the Mississippi River region alone is valued at $12 – $47 billion annually.

NCEL Point of Contact
Angela Yuan

Project Manager for Sustainable Agriculture and Water

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Key Facts

Natural infrastructure is vital in terms of managing floods, reducing sedimentation, and filtering nutrients.

Natural infrastructure of the Mississippi River alone is valued at $12 to $47 billion in benefits to the economy annually.

Reduces downstream flooding, by storing water and slowly releasing water back into the river.

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Resources

NCEL Resources

Online Resources

How Sustainable Water Strategies Prepare Communities for a Changing Climate

Report highlights 8 case studies of communities that have implemented green infrastructure.

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EPA Stormwater Calculator

Allows local governments to consider how runoff may vary based on both historical weather and potential future climate.

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Georgetown Climate Center’s Adaptation Clearinghouse

Highlights each state’s goals and related progress in terms of adaptation to increased storms and flooding.

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Mississippi Urban and Community Forestry Management Manual

Manual provides tools for installing green infrastructure to help mitigate flooding, urban heat islands, and nutrient runoff loading.

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