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Comprehensive Local Planning and Programs: Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Approach

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
- 3:00 p.m. ET



Comprehensive planning and visioning for floodplains can only be done on the local level. Many communities lack a vision or don’t know where to begin. This webinar will demonstrate how Charlotte-Mecklenburg developed and implemented a local resilience vision, and created plans and programs to implement it over the past 20 years. It takes a whole lot more than just funding to truly become more resilient.

This webinar provided ideas and examples that can be implemented to varying degrees in any community. Some of the topics in this webinar included; community visions for managing flood risk that promote long term resilience, communities acceptable risk level, adapt to flood risk changes, incentivizing and implementing mitigation at the local level, making your mitigation planning more useful, communicating risk that will lead to actions, showing results.

Flood Risk Assessment and Risk Reduction Plan (January 2012)


Planners, Engineers, Floodplain Managers and other floodplain management professionals who wish to gain ideas on how to implements local programs that increase hazard resilience.


  • Tim Trautman, PE, CFM, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services, Engineering & Mitigation Program Manager [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]


Tim Trautman is the Engineering & Mitigation Program Manager for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services (CMSWS) in Charlotte, North Carolina and actively involved on national policy issues pertaining to floodplain management and resilience. Mr. Trautman has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Civil Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is a Professional Engineer and Certified Floodplain Manager.

CMSWS Engineering and Mitigation Program is responsible for protecting life and property from flooding and restoring natural and beneficial floodplain functions. They invest $10M annually in capital improvement projects for flood mitigation and water quality improvements. Program planning functions include detailed flood risk assessments and risk reduction actions, maintaining datasets associated with floodplain management, pursuing grant funding; implementing acquisitions of flood prone buildings, managing a local automated advanced flood notification system, enforcing floodplain ordinances, maintaining accurate floodplain maps, etc. The program project management functions include planning, design, and construction of stream and floodplain restoration.

All registered participants will receive an electronic recording of this eLearning training opportunity!

Presenter: Tim Trautman, PE, CFM, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services, Engineering & Mitigation Program Manager

November 2016


Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 3:00 p.m. EDT

October Federal Update: The FEMA Proposed Rule for FFRMS and Update on WRDA

  • Larry Larson, Senior Policy Advisor, Association of State Floodplain Managers

Improving the Quantity and Quality of Coastal Wetlands in the U.S. South Atlantic


Marla Stelk, Policy Analyst, ASWM and Jeanne Christie, ASWM [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]



The USFWS and NOAA report that coastal wetlands in the US are being lost at a rate six times faster than wetlands in the rest of the country. Impacts to coastal wetlands are a challenge for every level of government and governance, and while many regulatory authorities fall within the jurisdiction of national and state government agencies, there are knowledge gaps at the regional level in understanding trends and environmental, physical, and anthropogenic factors that impact wetlands. State, federal, and non-profit partners have come together through the Governors’ South Atlantic Alliance to address the regional-scale needs of coastal wetlands conservation efforts. The webinar will review the objectives and the approaches of three main components of the GSAA coastal wetlands program, and the progress to date from each

Project #1 Coastal Wetlands Monitoring


  • Improve coordination of fragmented monitoring programs
  • Improve comparability of monitoring programs
  • Improve data awareness and information sharing

Project #2 Coastal Watershed Management


  • Increase local capacity for development of watershed restoration plans
  • Facilitate implementation of Coastal Water Quality BMPs

Project #3 Living Shorelines


  • Develop a network of living shorelines practitioners in the Southeast
  • Build awareness of the scope of living shorelines activities in the region
  • Identify gaps in knowledge and capacity that, if filled, would expand the appropriate use of living shorelines


Kristine Cherry is the GSAA Coordinator and manages the operations and programmatic activities of the partnership in support of the states of NC, SC, GA, and FL. This role includes coordination of GSAA-funded projects, Technical Teams, and GSAA leadership, as well as outreach to stakeholders, sponsors, and collaborators. In previous appointments, Kristine supported regional collaboration efforts in NOAA, strategic planning for the Oklahoma Renewable Energy Council, and international stakeholder engagement with the biotechnology industry. She was a 2006 Knauss Marine Policy Fellow and holds an M.S. in marine biology from the College of Charleston and a B.S. in marine biology from Texas A&M University at Galveston.

Kim Matthews is a wetland scientist with 18 years of experience in watershed sciences, with particular expertise in wetland ecology, stream assessments, and stormwater management. Kim has Bachelors of Art in Biology from Wittenberg University and a Master of Science in Natural Resources Management from North Carolina State University. For the past 10 years, she has worked at RTI, International where she works with multidisciplinary teams of researchers, environmental scientists, modelers, and statisticians in coastal, estuarine, freshwater, and wetland research.

After growing up in one of the most remote areas of the northeastern North Carolina Coast, Jason Doll attended N.C. State University, where he studied Fisheries and Wildlife Science. After seven years with non-profit environmental groups, and six years as a water quality modeler with the North Carolina Division of Water Quality, he entered private consulting. Combined, Mr. Doll now has 22 years of experience in the areas of water quality assessment and modeling, watershed planning, and ecological restoration. He is currently a Senior Scientist and Project Manager with the engineering firm, Moffatt & Nichol, in Raleigh, North Carolina.



Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, Policy Analyst, ASWM and
Kristine Cherry, Governors' South Atlantic Alliance (GSAA)
    Part 2: Presenter: Kim Matthews, RTI International
    Pat 3: Presenter: Jason Doll, Moffatt & Nichol
Part 4: Presenter: Kristine Cherry, Governors' South Atlantic Alliance (GSAA)     Part 5: Questions/Answers


Funding for Floodplain Restoration: Breaking Down Incentives to Develop Floodplains & Recent FEMA Policy Updates

September 1, 2016 - 3:00 p.m. ET


Association of State Floodplain Managers


Zachary Christin, Project Director, Earth Economics


Last May, FEMA released a memorandum that outlined how the agency is broadening authorization of natural solutions for flood mitigation projects. Under the new policy, FEMA expanded eligibility of pre-mitigation project types for drought and wildfire disasters, which include groundwater recharge and reforestation. The agency is also allowing ecosystem service values to be applied to benefit-cost analysis of these pre-mitigation activities. The takeaway message: FEMA now funds restoration projects that mitigate the effects of disasters.

FEMA’s recent policy update marks their second major milestone as a leader in addressing a future under a changing climate. With programs in nearly $24 billion of debt, FEMA’s change was imminent, and further reform may be necessary. Other federal agencies must follow suit as we continue to experience the development of floodplains that exacerbate flood damages and inhibit ecological functions.

This presentation will begin with a discussion of U.S. regulatory policy related to floodplain management and the disincentives that allow development of floodplains to persist. The discussion will follow with a path moving forward: Highlighting success cases at the federal level and offering solutions to existing policy.


Zachary Christin leads research focused on social and health valuation, urban systems, cultural services, and advancing applications of benefit-cost analysis (BCA) in federal policy. Zac led research to incorporate environmental benefits for FEMA’s BCA tool, resulting in FEMA Policy FP-108-024-01. Zac also participated in HUD’s National Disaster Resilience Competition as a Subject Matter Expert on BCA.

NFFA Federal Updates: Jeanne Christie, Executive
Director, Association of State Wetland Managers
Presenter: Zachary Christin, Project Director, Earth Economics

NFFA Workshop at the Association of State Floodplain Managers Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, MI

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 10:30am - 12:00pm ET

Living Shorelines: Lessons Learned and New Opportunities

June 7, 2016 - 3:00 p.m. ET

IntroductionMarla Stelk, Policy Analyst, ASWM and Jeanne Christie, ASWM



Suzanne Simon, Restore America’s Estuaries
Whether known as living shorelines, soft stabilization, soft armoring, or green shores, this suite of techniques provides an opportunity for property owners to address shoreline erosion while also providing ecosystem and habitat benefits. Ms. Simon will provide an overview from a national perspective regarding these approaches. She will also highlight findings, tools, opportunities, and resources for people wanting information, either for themselves or property owners.

Bill Sapp, Southern Environmental Law Center
The proposed nationwide permits have finally hit the streets. As predicted there is a NWP 13, as well as a new NWP for living shorelines. I will be discussing the good, the bad, and the ugly in each of these permits. I will also be discussing the importance of commenting on these permits during the 60 day comment window. It is critical that the Corps gets these permits right because we need to head off the growing epidemic of shoreline hardening facing our coasts and rivers.

Tracy Skrabal, North Carolina Coastal Federation
This presentation will provide information and “lessons learned” for living shorelines projects in and around North Carolina. With decades of experience as a backdrop, Ms. Skrabal will discuss challenges and opportunities for living shorelines projects. In addition, the presentation will provide Ms. Skrabal’s perspective and experience in advocating for permitting changes for these efforts.

Lee Anne Wilde, Galveston Bay Foundation
This presentation will use as a case study a living shoreline site on Trinity Bay near Anahuac, TX. Galveston Bay Foundation and the landowner have been working for many years to find ways to control the erosion of his shoreline in ways that enhance habitat and water quality. Several methods have been tried in this high energy environment. This presentation will look at what has worked and what hasn’t discussing lessons learned along the way. In addition, the presentation will address why GBF sought a Nationwide 27 permit for habitat creation as opposed to a Nationwide 13 for bank stabilization in this instance as well as many others.


Suzanne Giles Simon is the Strategic Programs Manager for Restore America’s Estuaries. She has spent more than 20 years working on coastal, marine, and estuarine issues in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. An estuarine scientist by training, she started her career at an oceanographic consulting firm in the Pacific Northwest. From 2000 to 2004 she worked in DC’s non-profit sector, including a two-year period as RAE’s National Policy and Science Director. A move to Florida prompted a switch back to the private sector, developed an expertise about Florida’s ecosystems and drinking water issues. She re-joined RAE in 2009. Suzanne earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Bates College and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in marine and estuarine science from Western Washington University.

Bill Sapp is a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) in Atlanta, Georgia. He specializes in wetlands and coastal issues and uses his legal skills to protect the swamps, tidal creeks, and salt marshes of the Georgia and Alabama coasts. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and also obtained a Master’s of Environmental Law from George Washington Law School with highest honors. His past work experience includes assistant counsel for environmental law and regulatory programs for the Army Corps of Engineers, as well as former lead wetlands attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region IV.

Tracy Skrabal is the Southeast Regional Manager and Coastal Scientist with the North Carolina Coastal Federation, a citizens- based conservation group working with many partners to ensure clean water and natural resource protection in NC’s 20 coastal counties. The Coastal Federation engages people throughout the coast through education and stewardship programs, land preservation and restoration of degraded coastal ecosystems, and advocacy efforts. Tracy has been with the Coastal Federation since 1997. Ms. Skrabal has an undergraduate degree in Geology from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and a M.S. degree in Geological Oceanography from the School of Marine Science, College of William and Mary (Virginia Institute of Marine Science).

Lee Anne Wilde is the Living Shorelines Program Manager for the Galveston Bay Foundation. Received a B.A. in Anthropology from Texas A&M University, College Station. Received an M.S. in Marine Resource Management from Texas A&M University, Galveston. She has been employed by the Galveston Bay Foundation for 10 years in various capacities. Her current role focuses on helping waterfront landowners find sustainable ways to stop their erosion while giving back to Galveston Bay and its watershed. When she isn’t working for the Foundation she works to help raise her 2 kids, 4 chickens, 3 cats, 1 dog, and a few fish.


Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, Policy Analyst, ASWM
    Part 2: Presenter: Suzanne Simon, Strategic Programs Managers, Restore America’s Estuaries     Pat 3: Presenter: Bill Sapp, Senior Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center
Part 4: Presenter: Tracy Skrabal, Southeast Regional Manager and Coastal Scientist, North Carolina
Coastal Federation
    Part 5: Presenter: Lee Anne Wilde, Living Shorelines Program Managers, Galveston Bay Foundation     Part 6: Questions/Answers
Part 7: Questions/Answers            



The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon: Restoring Functional Floodplain for Nature & People

April 28, 2016 - 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET

PowerPoint presentation is available here.


Association of State Floodplain Managers


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


In large-floodplain river systems, such as the Illinois River, the dynamic connection between the river and its floodplain contributes to important ecological processes and habitats that provide a wide variety of ecosystem services and support diversity and abundance. Most of these services were minimized or even lost completely when fertile floodplains were isolated by levees and drained for agriculture nearly a century ago. At The Nature Conservancy’s 6700-acre Emiquon Preserve along the Illinois River, we are working with partners on restoration and management of a formerly leveed, draied, and intensively farmed floodplain to reestablish many of the ecosystem services it formerly provided. Restoration began in 2007 and results to date have been impressive. Over 265 bird species have been documented and peak one-day densities of water birds are approaching 200,000. In 2016, a managed connection between the restored floodplain and the river is being completed to provide water control needed for restoring a more natural hydrology to sustain the high-quality habitats and to facilitate movements of aquatic organisms. Through effectual partnerships with agencies, universities and other NGOs, research and monitoring at Emiquon is advancing our understanding, restoration, and management of floodplains and the many benefits they provide for nature and people.


K. Douglas Blodgett is Director of River Conservation for the Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Prior to joining the Conservancy 17 years ago, Doug was a research scientist for the Illinois Natural History Survey for 16 years, working primarily on large rivers. He has a life-long interest in rivers, having grown up in the small river town of Havana just across the Illinois River from what is now the Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve. Doug holds BS and MS degrees in biology from Western Illinois University.


This webinar has been preapproved for 1 CEC for CFMs who participate individually in the entire event.

The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon: Restoring
Functional Floodplain for Nature & People

Presenter: K. Douglas Blodgett, Director of River
Conservation, Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy


The Ecology, Engineering & Economics of Natural Coastal Defenses

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 3:00 p.m. - 4:30pm ET

Introduction – Marla Stelk, Policy Analyst, ASWM and Jeanne Christie, ASWM

PowerPoint presentation is available here.


Mike Beck, The Nature Conservancy and Adjunct Professor in Ocean Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz


The risks and the costs associated with coastal hazards are increasing both from coastal development and climate change. Coastal and marine habitats, particularly reefs and wetlands can substantially reduce exposure and vulnerability to coastal hazards, providing natural protection from risk. Yet the value of these systems as natural and nature-based defenses is still not fully recognized, and they continue to be lost and degraded. This webinar session will provide participants with: (a) a synopsis from a new World Bank Guidance Note on the coastal protection role of reefs and mangroves and the recommended approaches for valuing these benefits; (b) results from a global analysis that uses the recommended approaches to quantify the costs of flooding from coral reef loss; and (c) Results from cost:benefit analyses with TNC and Swiss Re that quantitatively compare natural and artificial defenses across the entire the Gulf of Mexico.


Mike Beck is the Lead Marine Scientist at TNC and adjunct Professor in Ocean Sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz. Mike focuses on building coastal resilience in the interface between risk reduction and conservation. His approach is multi-disciplinary across ecology, engineering and economics. Mike has authored more than sixty peer-reviewed publications. His work covers topics from the role of coral reefs in reducing risks from storms to the effects of people on extinctions of Pleistocene mammals. He has also published numerous popular articles including Op-eds in the NY Times, Miami Herald, Huffington Post and the Caribbean Journal. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Sydney and in 2012 Mike was also selected as a Pew Marine Conservation Fellow.

Part 1: Marla Stelk, Policy Analyst,
ASWM and Jeanne Christie, ASWM
    Part 2: Presenter: Mike Beck, The
Nature Conservancy and Adjunct
Professor in Ocean Sciences,
University of California
Santa Cruz
    Pat 3: Presenter: Mike Beck, The
Nature Conservancy and Adjunct
Professor in Ocean Sciences,
University of California Santa Cruz
Part 4: Presenter: Mike Beck, The
Nature Conservancy and Adjunct
Professor in Ocean Sciences,
University of California Santa Cruz



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