Floodplain Management

Authored by: French Wetmore

Encyclopedia of Natural Resources

Print publication date:  July  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9781439852583
eBook ISBN: 9781351043847
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-ENRW-120010108

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Abstract

Throughout time, floods have altered the landscape. Flooding is a natural process and floodplains are created and altered by that process. Floodplains have also been altered by human development, with consequences to those who live in them. During the early settlement of the United States, locations near water provided required access to transportation, a water supply, and water power. These areas had fertile soils, making them prime agricultural lands. In recent decades, development along waterways and shorelines has been spurred by the recreational value of these sites. The result has been an increasing level of damage and destruction wrought by the natural forces of flooding on human development. Flooding has become the nation’s number one natural hazard. It affects more property each year and has accounted for over 70% of the Presidential disaster declarations since 1970.

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