2013 Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance Webinars

Conference call  

Monday, December 9, 2013 – 3:00 p.m. EST



Moving toward Floodplain Restoration at Scale on the Illinois River and Upper Mississippi Basin: Valuing Ecosystem Services, Demonstrating Flood Reduction, and Policy Implications

Monday, November 18, 2013 – 3:00 p.m. EST     

Introduction – Jeanne Christie, ASWM

PRESENTERS

PowerPoint presentation: K. Douglas Blodgett / Charles E. Theiling

A growing number of projects are demonstrating the effectiveness and value of functioning floodplain systems in providing society with diverse benefits such as flood reduction and conveyance, water quality improvements, increased recreation, and enhanced fish and wildlife habitat. Beyond local returns, some of these projects help to reveal needs and opportunities to change policies and programs in order to expand and more fully realize the social benefits of floodplain protection and restoration. This webinar will present two such projects in the Upper Mississippi Basin, including a preliminary ecosystem service valuation of alternative floodplain management scenarios in the St. Louis region and a comparison of the flood reduction benefits of reconnected floodplain along two reaches of the Illinois River during the record 2013 flood. Technical insight gained from these projects will be synthesized, along with key lessons related to existing policies and programs and their effectiveness in enabling public-private partnerships.

BIOS 

K. Douglas Blodgett, Director of River Conservation, The Nature Conservancy in Illinois

K. Douglas Blodgett, Director of River Conservation in Illinois joined the staff of The Nature Conservancy in 1998 and currently is Director of River Conservation for the Illinois Chapter. One of his major responsibilities is overseeing implementation of the Conservancy’s Conservation Action Plan for the Illinois River and its associated strategies for conserving the biological diversity of this large-floodplain river ecosystem.  A primary strategy of that plan is restoration and management of functional floodplain; Doug oversees the Conservancy’s model landscape-scale floodplain projects along the Illinois River -- the 2000-acre Spunky Bottoms Project and the 6600-acre Emiquon Preserve.  He also is involved in Conservancy conservation efforts on the Wabash, Cache, and Mississippi Rivers.  Doug serves as a liaison and participates in partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations involved in conservation and management of these and other rivers. He is Fellow of the Conservancy’s Great Rivers Partnership which facilitates sharing of science and conservation lessons learned among managers and decision makers responsible for the health of large rivers throughout the United States and around the world. He works out of the Conservancy’s River Program Office on the Emiquon Preserve near Lewistown, IL.

Doug has a life-long interest in large rivers, having grown up along the Illinois River near the small river town of Havana, IL.  He has fond memories of youthful days hiking, biking, boating, fishing, hunting, swimming, and camping in, on, and along the river and its backwaters.  Doug earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology from Western Illinois University at Macomb, IL and joined the Illinois Natural History Survey in 1982, where he participated in biological investigations on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers with special interests in freshwater mussels, fishes, and exotic species.  From 1989 through 1998, Doug was director of the Survey’s Long Term Resource Monitoring Program Field Station on the Illinois River at Havana, part of the multi-state/multi-agency Upper Mississippi River Restoration Environmental Management Program (EMP).

Doug and his wife Gayle live near Cuba, IL and have three grown children.

Charles E. Theiling, Large River Ecologist, US Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District

Charles Theiling Regional Technical Specialist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Rock Island District has degrees in Zoology and Environmental Biology, Aquatic and Fish Ecology (MS), and a PhD in Large River Ecology from Eastern Illinois University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Iowa, respectively.  Dr. Theiling started working on large river ecology in 1990 with the Illinois Natural History Survey where he managed a biological field station.  A brief period of consulting with Ecological Specialists, Inc. included a focus on macroinvertebrates and rapid bioassessment protocols for impact assessment.  Work for the U.S. Geological Survey (1995-2000) included large system scale summaries for ecological status and trends and cumulative effects assessments.  Dr. Theiling also helped compile ecosystem restoration needs to sequence restoration project implementation.

Dr. Theiling joined the Corps of Engineers in 2000 and began work on watershed issues which provided an “upstream” perspective that integrates watersheds with their downstream impacts.  Dr. Theiling returned to large river work on the Upper Mississippi-Illinois Waterway Navigation Feasibility Study and the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program which clearly defined ecosystem restoration goals for the Upper Mississippi River.  Dr. Theiling initiated a mid-career PhD program in 2007 to integrate hydrology, geomorphology, and land cover data to estimate the restoration potential for nearly 3 million acres on the Upper Mississippi River System.  Dr. Theiling was appointed to a position as Mississippi Valley Division Regional Technical Specialist in Ecological Modeling in 2009.  Current interests include aquatic habitat connectivity, watershed nutrient abatement, climate adaptation, Green Infrastructure, and ecosystem goods and services. 

Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, ASWM; Presenter: K. Douglas Blodgett, Director of River Conservation
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Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, ASWM
Presenter: K. Douglas Blodgett, Director of River Conservation

Part 2: Presenter: K. Douglas Blodgett, Director of River Conservation
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Part 2: Presenter: K. Douglas Blodgett, Director of River Conservation

Part 3: Presenter: Charles E. Theiling, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
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Part 3: Presenter: Charles E. Theiling, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Part 4: Presenter: Charles E. Theiling, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Questions/Discussion
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Part 4: Presenter: Charles E. Theiling, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Questions/Discussion

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Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, ASWM; Presenter: K. Douglas Blodgett, Director of River Conservation
Part 2: Presenter: K. Douglas Blodgett, Director of River Conservation
Part 3: Presenter: Charles E. Theiling, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Part 4: Presenter: Charles E. Theiling, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;  Questions/Discussion
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Conference call  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Reforming Federal Support for Risky Development

Monday, September 9, 2013 – 3:00 p.m. EST      

Introduction – Jeanne Christie, ASWM

PRESENTERS

  • David Conrad, Consultant, Water Resources Policy
  • Edward A. Thomas, Esq. President, Natural Hazard Mitigation Association 

PowerPoint presentation available here.

We are continuing to experience increasingly costly and damaging natural disasters; physical, emotional, economic losses are escalating wildly. At the same time, the proportion of costs borne by Federal taxpayers, society as a whole, and disaster victims/survivors is also rising alarmingly. We must and should make changes in federal policy that can best reduce the mounting toll of these hazards. Our guiding principle should be: the best disaster response and recovery is when no disaster response and recovery is required due to safe & proper planning, land use, and building codes that prevent disasters from occurring in the first place. Disaster Mitigation & Climate Adaptation should be incorporated into a much broader range “Whole Community” approach to planning and economic development programs: by reducing subsidies that underwrite or promote risky development and by better leveraging Federal and State programs to support and encourage wise State and Local land-use, hazard risk reduction and protection and restoration of natural ecosystems and natural hazard risk-reduction “services.” A recent case decided by the US Supreme Court, Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, may offer a path forward based on the idea of using harm prevention as a fundamental foundational basis of planning community development, climate adaptation, and hazard mitigation.

The webinar is based on a paper with the same title authored by the presenters and published by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project in February 2013

Part 1: Introduction: Jeanne Christie, ASWM; Presenter: David Conrad, Consultant, Water Resources Policy
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Part 1: Introduction: Jeanne Christie, ASWM
Presenter: David Conrad, Consultant, Water Resources Policy

Part 2: Presenter: David Conrad, Consultant, Water Resources Policy
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Part 2: Presenter: David Conrad, Consultant, Water Resources Policy

Part 3: Presenter: Edward A. Thomas, Esq. President, Natural Hazard Mitigation Association
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Part 3: Presenter: Edward A. Thomas, Esq. President, Natural Hazard Mitigation Association

Part 4: Questions/Comments
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Part 4: Questions/Comments

Part 5: Questions/Discussion
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Part 5: Questions/Discussion

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Part 1: Introduction: Jeanne Christie, ASWM; Presenter: David Conrad, Consultant, Water Resources Policy
Part 2: Presenter: David Conrad, Consultant, Water Resources Policy
Part 3: Presenter: Edward A. Thomas, Esq. President, Natural Hazard Mitigation Association
Part 4: Questions/Comments
Part 5: Questions/Discussion
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No call or webinar

Monday, August 12, 2013

Conference call  

Monday, July 8, 2013 3:00 p.m. EST

Informing Flood Mitigation with Ecosystem Service Valuation: An Introduction to the Ecosystem Valuation Toolkit

Monday, June 17, 2013  – 3:00 p.m. EST   

Introduction – Jeanne Christie, ASWM

PRESENTER

  • Zac Christin, Earth Economics

PowerPoint presentation available here.

All federal and state agencies, cities, counties and many private firms utilize benefit-cost analysis to make investment decisions and allocate resources, but most often these decisions are made without taking into account the value of ecosystem services. In early 2012, Earth Economics conducted an analysis of ecosystem service valuation implementation nationally for FEMA’s Benefit Cost Analysis Toolkit, to be released in version 5.0. FEMA will be the first federal government organization to incorporate environmental benefits to the BCA process.

This webinar will introduce the Ecosystem Valuation Toolkit (EVT), a web-based ecosystem service value exchange platform for rapidly appraising the value of ecosystem services in natural floodplains to inform benefit-cost analysis. EVT is a toolkit for translating the values provided by natural systems or damage to these systems, linking the understanding provided by natural sciences and the implementation of change enabled by good investment, markets and economic decision-making.

Part 1: Introduction: Jeanne Christie, ASWM Presenter: Zac Christin, Earth Economics
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Part 1: Introduction: Jeanne Christie, ASWM
Presenter: Zac Christin, Earth Economics

Part 2: Presenter: Zac Christin, Earth Eonomics
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Part 2: Presenter: Zac Christin, Earth Eonomics

Part 3: Questions/Answers
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Part 3: Questions/Answers

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Part 1: Introduction: Jeanne Christie, ASWM Presenter: Zac Christin, Earth Economics
Part 2: Presenter: Zac Christin, Earth Eonomics
Part 3: Questions/Answers
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Conference call  

Monday, May 13, 2013 3:00 p.m. EST


Mapping Floodplains in Iowa Part II 

Monday, April 8, 2013 3:00 p.m. EST   

PowerPoint presentation available here.

The Iowa-Cedar Rivers Basin is home to Iowa’s largest university and second largest city and supports millions of acres of agriculture. Intensive land use and altered hydrology have resulted in erosion, loss of natural habitat and impacts on water quality from nutrients and sediment. Additionally, the Cedar River flood in 2008 devastated crops and property and caused more than $10 billion in damages in the region. This catastrophe prompted the creation of the Iowa-Cedar Watershed Interagency Coordination Team, a multi-agency, multi-stakeholder effort convened to reduce flood risk, improve water quality, and conserve habitat. The Nature Conservancy is supporting the work of the Interagency Team through identification, analysis and mapping of ecosystem services. A critical first step in this process is mapping the floodplain, and in this webinar we will discuss our approach for delineating the floodplain for the IA-Cedar Rivers Basin.

BIOS

Kris Johnson is the Ecosystem Services Scientist for the North America Freshwater Program of The Nature Conservancy. In this role he works with pilot projects to provide scientific support that can highlight how floodplains can be managed to minimize risk, support communities and sustain healthy and productive ecosystems.

Jan Slaats is a GIS Manager for the North America Conservation Region of The Nature Conservancy. His projects typically span multiple ecoregions or States. Working together with TNC’s Science team, his focus has been on the impact of wind energy development and floodplain mapping.

Part 1: Introduction: Jeanne Christie, ASWM; Kris Johnson, The Nature Conservancy
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Part 1: Introduction: Jeanne Christie, ASWM
Presenter: Kris Johnson, The Nature Conservancy

Part 2: Presenter: Jan Slaats, The Nature Conservancy
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Part 2: Presenter: Jan Slaats, The Nature Conservancy

Part 3: Questions/Answers
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Part 3: Questions/Answers

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Part 1: Introduction: Jeanne Christie, ASWM; Kris Johnson, The Nature Conservancy
Part 2: Presenter: Jan Slaats, The Nature Conservancy
Part 3: Questions/Answers
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Conference call  

Thursday, April 4, 2013 – 3:00 p.m. EST

Conference call  

Monday, March 11, 2013 – 3:00 p.m. EST

Iowa State Floodplain Mapping Program

Monday, February 11, 2013 – 3:00 p.m. EST  

PRESENTERS

  • Nathan Young, Iowa Flood Center

PowerPoint presentation available here.

In 2010, the state of Iowa received 15 million dollars in federal support to update and create floodplain maps for all Iowa counties declared federal disaster areas following the devastating 2008 Midwestern floods. In cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, IFC is conducting a five-year effort to develop FEMA-compliant floodplain mapping data for all Iowa streams draining greater than one square mile. Taking advantage of statewide light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data, efforts will yield a detailed stream centerline network, computer-based flood simulations, and floodplain boundaries and depths associated with a range of annual exceedance probabilities. Mapping Floodplains in Iowa Part 1: This will be the first part of a two part series that will provide an overview of the comprehensive statewide project underway to map the natural floodplains of the entire state by the Iowa Floodplain Center. We are in the process of inviting them to present.

Part 1: Introduction: Jeanne Christie, ASWM; Presenter: Nathan Young, Iowa Flood Center
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Part 1: Introduction: Jeanne Christie, ASWM
Presenter: Nathan Young, Iowa Flood Center

Part 2: Presenter: Nathan Young, Iowa Flood Center
PlayPlay

Part 2: Presenter: Nathan Young, Iowa Flood Center

Part 3: Questions/Answers
PlayPlay

Part 3: Questions/Answers

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Part 1: Introduction: Jeanne Christie, ASWM; Presenter: Nathan Young, Iowa Flood Center
Part 2: Presenter: Nathan Young, Iowa Flood Center
Part 3: Questions/Answers
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Conference call  

Monday, January 14, 2013 – 3:00 p.m. EST


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