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Environmental Law Institute Offers Resources for Communities Facing Floodplain Buyouts

September 2017

Washington, D.C.: With the 2017 hurricane season fully upon us, and the likelihood of increased flooding in the months and years to come due to climate change, many communities may soon find themselves faced with federal buyouts of flood-ridden lands under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Local governments usually oversee these floodplain buyouts with little or no funding for restoration or management, much less guidance on maximizing long-term benefits. The Environmental Law Institute has a number of practical, implementable resources to help communities optimize use and management of buyout properties to improve community resilience.

“The acquisition and restoration of these floodplain properties can increase community resilience while improving wildlife habitat, enhancing ecosystem services, and providing much-needed open space and recreational facilities to a community,” says Dr. Rebecca Kihslinger, Senior Science & Policy Analyst with ELI. “Buyouts present an opportunity for communities to create public assets while restoring the ecological integrity of the floodplain and strengthening the community’s resilience to future disasters.”

Some of the materials available on the ELI website include:

ELI continues to work in this area. Visit https://www.eli.org/land-biodiversity/floodplain-buyouts to learn more and for updates.

Dr. Rebecca Kihslinger is also available for interview.