Embedding Natural Resource Expertise in Hazard Mitigation Planning: Opportunities for Integration in the Mississippi River Basin

Rebecca Kihslinger
Jesse Ferraioli
Zoe Vogel
Cecilia Diedrich
Isabella Blanco
Date Released
January 2024
Report Cover - Embedding Nat Res Expertise in HMP

In our changing climate, the deployment of nature-based solutions (NBS) for their flood risk mitigation benefits is growing in popularity around the U.S. and the world. The purpose of this report is to identify opportunities for scaling up the use of natural and nature-based infrastructure projects as hazard mitigation strategies, focusing on the formation of better partnerships that build the capacity of decision-makers to effectively address flood hazard risks.

Among other topics, the report includes lessons learned and recommendations made during an ELI workshop held in October 2023 where wetland agencies and hazard mitigation planners convened to discuss opportunities for using wetland and floodplain restoration and protection prioritization tools and methodologies in the hazard mitigation planning process, as well as to discuss partnership-building among wetland and natural resource agencies and organizations, hazard mitigation planners, and project developers. While many of the opportunities and lessons highighted in this report will apply in communities across the U.S., this report is focused geographically on the Mississippi River Basin, where the ongoing and increasing flood risks challenging the current infrastructure highlight a growing need to find adaptive solutions—and present an important opportunity to leverage and advance nature-based hazard mitigation efforts.