Mitigation Matters: How Cities and States Along the Mississippi River Should Plan for Flooding

Event will feature policy options and lessons for reducing disaster costs and saving lives


Mitigation Matters: How Cities and States Along the Mississippi River Should Plan for Flooding
Update: This event has been postponed indefinitely because of concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19).  
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From the time pioneers first settled along the Mississippi River, communities there have lived with the threat of rising waters, especially during spring floods and extreme weather events, many of which have devastated homes, businesses, farms, and infrastructure. Over time, flooding along the river has become more common and costly. Local jurisdictions and states are increasingly looking for policies to mitigate flooding, and save lives and money. The Pew Charitable Trusts’ “Mitigation Matters” report, released in late 2019, provides a menu of options for officials to make their communities more resilient.  

On Friday, March 20, Pew, the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, and Washington University in St. Louis will co-sponsor an event to highlight ways cities and states are using policies to create funding sources and regulations to help reduce flood risk up and down the Mississippi. Experts will share examples of how localities in the Mississippi River Basin and around the country have prepared for and responded to flooding in their communities.   


  • Colin Wellenkamp (@cmwellenkamp), executive director, Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative
  • David Stokes (@DavidCStokes), executive director, Great Rivers Habitat Alliance
  • Lowell R. Ricketts (@lowellricketts), lead analyst, Center for Household Financial Stability, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Joyce Flinn (@IowaHSEMD), director, Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management Department
  • Derek Hoeferlin (@derekhoeferlin), professor of landscape architecture and urban design, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Laura Lightbody (@lbodss), director of Pew’s flood-prepared communities initiative
  • James Lee Witt (@jamesleewittAR), former Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator
  • Matt Fuchs, officer with Pew’s flood-prepared communities initiative
Date: Friday, March 20, 2020
Time: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM CST
Location: Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
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Mitigation Matters: Policy Solutions to Reduce Local Flood Risk

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Since 2000, floods have cost the United States more than $845 billion in damage to homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure. The expense of adapting to more frequent and severe storms is projected to rise over the next several decades, placing a premium on the need to take action now to reduce the impacts of future floods.