Floodplains are critical transition zones in the landscape, where our streams and rivers escape their banks to relieve the stresses of increased flow from winter snow storms, heavy spring rains, and other significant rain events. Floodplains also often contain extremely valuable ecological features, like wetlands.
Over the years, towns and cities often developed along rivers for commerce. As time has gone by, many of our important floodplains have been impacted in various ways–some have been developed in, others have had levees built that restrict a waterway’s access to the floodplain, and still others have been raised to simply elevate development above flood levels. We even have a federal flood insurance program that insures folks who live in floodplains.
KWA devotes effort towards preventing new floodplain impacts. This includes limiting development within important floodplains, reducing the use of levees and other floodplain cut-off structures, and making sure that any new development in floodplains includes better development methods, like green infrastructure, to help reduce the stormwater runoff contributions from those sites.