Integrating Nature-Based Goals in Hazard Mitigation Plans

May 26, 2021 2:00 pm — 3:30 pm
Webinar Only

An ELI Public Webinar

From 2016–2020, the United States experienced an approximate average of 16 weather or climate-related disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion. Due to climate change, costly natural disasters are occurring more frequently, and 2020 set a new record with 22 billion-dollar disasters. Recently, increased emphasis has been placed on nature-based hazard mitigation solutions, including the restoration of wetlands and floodplains, as cost-effective strategies for addressing the impacts of future disasters. Nature-based mitigation strategies can help reduce the likelihood of and minimize negative impacts when they do occur. These strategies also provide environmental and social co-benefits, such as increasing habitat and biodiversity, and creating recreational spaces for communities.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires every state and local government to have a hazard mitigation plan in order to be eligible for certain types of FEMA funding. The hazard mitigation plan must identify, evaluate, and prioritize cost-effective and feasible mitigation actions and activities that can address the risks posed by natural hazards. The specific actions included in the mitigation strategy provide the basis for proposing and applying for funding for specific mitigation projects.

Leading panelists will explore how states and local governments are integrating nature-based goals and actions in hazard mitigation plans and will provide key examples of ongoing projects and capacity-building efforts that are furthering the state of nature-based hazard mitigation practices. Join the Environmental Law Institute and expert panelists to dive into the best practices and complex considerations for states and local governments in developing, implementing, and evaluating nature-based hazard mitigation plans and projects.

Rebecca Kihslinger, PhD, Director, Wetlands Program, and Senior Science and Policy Analyst, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
Marybeth Groff, Hazard Mitigation Planner, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Kyle Magyera, Local Government Outreach Specialist, Wisconsin Wetlands Association
Rowan Schmidt, Program Director, Earth Economics
JaLeesa Tate, State Hazard Mitigation Officer, Maryland Emergency Management Agency

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