Using existing funds for mitigation by redirecting revenue and spending

State and local governments are making long-term commitments to support flood mitigation efforts by establishing programs that draw from their annual budgets, such as grant and rebate programs, or by offering tax credits to help fund projects.

Arkansas Tax Credit Rewards Landowners for Conserving Wetlands

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Arkansas

Problem
Wetland loss and related flooding
Policy solution
Tax credit to landowners for preserving or creating wetlands
Outcome
Over $4.5 million in tax credits approved for projects to protect or create wetlands and riparian zones
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Illinois Village Offers Rebates for Flood Mitigation Projects

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South Holland, Illinois

Problem
Inadequate stormwater system and flooding to community and homes
Policy solution
Rebate program for residents to make their homes more resilient
Outcome
Village rebates more than $800,000 for $2.9 million in flood-proofing projects
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Vermont’s Fund Helps Communities to Become More Flood Ready

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Vermont

Problem
Recurring major floods, including from Tropical Storm Irene
Policy solution
State emergency fund to incentivize communities to prepare before floods
Outcome
90 percent of communities have adopted or are working toward adoption of the state’s flood hazard bylaws
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Washington Partnership Fosters Collaboration for Flood Plain Restoration

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Washington

Problem
Disconnected strategies for addressing flooding
Policy solution
State grant program that covers entire watersheds, prompting more collaboration
Outcome
$115 million awarded to improve flood resilience
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Wisconsin Grant Program Helps People Relocate from Flood-Prone Areas

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Wisconsin

Problem
Series of flood disasters, including the Great Flood of 1993, ravage the state
Policy solution
State grants for a range of activities, including buyouts
Outcome
140 property buyouts, moving people out of harm’s way
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Creating revenue sources for mitigation

Some states and cities are generating new revenue to fund flood mitigation measures by asking residents or the federal government to share the burden. This effort includes leveraging bonds and tax collections, establishing state revolving loan funds, and combining state funding with financial assistance from the federal government.

Indiana’s Flood Control Revolving Fund Makes Resources Available to Communities

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Indiana

Problem
Major floods and persistent smaller events cause damage throughout the state
Policy solution
State revolving fund for flood mitigation supports projects and is replenished as loans are repaid
Outcome
Local communities can take out low-interest loans for projects aimed at reducing flooding
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Iowa Flood Mitigation Program Leads to $1.4 Billion in Projects

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Iowa

Problem
Devastating floods caused $10 billion in damage
Policy solution
Resiliency program draws from sales tax revenue and funds from local and federal government
Outcome
Ten mitigation projects funded with a total of $1.4 billion
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Maryland’s Living Shorelines Help Communities Become Resilient

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Maryland

Problem
Severe storms, sea-level rise, and coastal erosion threaten communities
Policy solution
Loan program helps pay for living shorelines
Outcome
More than $3 million in loans for 475 projects that are protecting more than 200,000 linear feet of shoreline
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Minnesota Uses Bonds to Support Flood-Ready Infrastructure

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Minnesota

Problem
Flooding and aging infrastructure cause costly road and bridge closures
Policy solution
$50 million in bonds supports a flood mitigation program
Outcome
From 2011 to 2016, 34 mitigation projects make roadways and bridges more resilient
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Establishing smarter regulations to reduce flood risk

Some jurisdictions have used regulatory strategies to help guide less-risky development to reduce the impact of flooding. These strategies include updating city zoning ordinances to account for sea-level rise, encouraging landowners to opt for natural solutions to prevent erosion when possible, acting to ensure that building in a flood plain doesn’t lead to flood problems for other properties, and limiting the amount and type of development in flood plains.

North Carolina City Adopts Stringent Standard for Building in Flood Plain

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Brevard, North Carolina

Problem
Flooding in 2004 damages 16,000 homes
Policy solution
City requires new developments or structural improvements to avoid increased flood risk for property owners downstream
Outcome
Residents receive lower flood insurance premiums due to lower risk
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Colorado City Revamps Flood Plain Management After Severe Flood

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Fort Collins, Colorado

Problem
1997 flood causes $250 million in damage
Policy solution
Regulations prohibit new homes in areas with high flood risk
Outcome
Of nearly 14,000 structures built since the 1997 flood, only eight were damaged by flooding in 2013
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Maryland’s Living Shorelines Help Communities Become Resilient

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Maryland

Problem
Severe storms, sea-level rise and coastal erosion threaten communities
Policy solution
Permitting requirement is designed to encourage living shorelines
Outcome
Living shorelines are prioritized as the preferred flood prevention method, helping to protect communities and provide environmental benefits
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Milwaukee Uses Nature-Based Regulations to Reduce Flooding

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Milwaukee

Problem
Rain overwhelmed the city’s stormwater system
Policy solution
Green infrastructure initiatives, including funding and permit requirements
Outcome
In 2014, green infrastructure captured 12 million gallons of water and, in 2019, Milwaukee set a new goal of capturing 50 million gallons
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Norfolk’s Revised Zoning Ordinance Aims to Improve Flood Resilience

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Norfolk, Virginia

Problem
Sea-level rise is increasing flood vulnerability
Policy solution
New zoning requires more mitigation measures in flood-prone areas
Outcome
Development is encouraged in less risky areas
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