2020 Past Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance (NFFA) Webinars

[20192018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011]

Disaster Recovery Lessons Learned: Achieving the Best Possible Outcomes for our Communities and Stream Corridors

Held Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 3:00pm-4:30pm Eastern

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William Dooley, Policy Analyst, Association of State Wetland Managers [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]


• Jeffrey Sickles, Engenuity Engineering Solutions  

• Katie Jagt, Watershed Science and Design

• Michael Blazewicz, Round River Design 


This presentation was intended for a wide audience and outlines specific lessons learned during the 2013 Colorado Flood Recovery: some lessons we shared in this are from successes and others are from stumbles, failures, or opportunities that were never realized. The presentation covered highlights of lessons learned from several of the phases and processes involved in recovery including: Organizing for recovery, shared corridors, disaster response, recovery planning, permitting, and pre-disaster planning.

For those interested in reviewing the associated book developed by the presentation team, which goes into more depth on each topic, they can find the document at the link below:

Colorado Disaster Recovery, Lessons Learned: A guide to plan, react, adapt, evolve, and achieve the best possible outcomes for our communities and stream corridors

Additional topics covered in the book, but not anticipated to be covered during the presentation, include: the human element, project identification and scoping, design, construction, revegetation, monitoring, and adaptive management.


Jeffrey Sickles, PE, CFMJeffrey Sickles, PE, CFM is a professional engineer focused on watersheds, rivers, and stormwater systems. Jeff is the founder of Enginuity Engineering Solutions, a civil engineering consulting firm. He has been working in the Colorado professional water resources community his entire career since 1994. Jeff primarily works with local governments providing expertise in planning, assessment, design, implementation, and management. Jeff led the State of Colorado’s 2013 Phase 2 Emergency Watershed Protection Program, overseeing the implementation of $50 million in flood recovery improvements specifically focused on stream function and working with natural systems.

Jeff is a past Regional Board Director for the Association of State Floodplain Managers and currently serves as a Committee Co-Chair for the Association's Stormwater Committee where he recently completed a paper focused on Urban Flood Hazards. Other specific areas of expertise include floodplain management, floodplain hydraulic modeling, stream rehabilitation and restoration, stormwater systems, and construction oversight. Jeff is well known within the water resources community for his emphasis on collaboration and innovation.

Jeff grew up in Evergreen, Colorado where his child-like curiosity found him wandering through creeks, wetlands, and floating rafts on ponds; a foreshadowing of his future career in rivers and river science. He attended the University of Colorado in Boulder where he obtained a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He currently resides in Highlands Ranch with his bride of 12 years with whom he raised five children, non of which decided to follow in his footsteps in engineering or river science. Empty nesters now, he and his wife travel regularly exploring the world, but realizing that at the end of it all, Colorado is a pretty amazing place to live.

Katie Jagt, PE, CFM Katie Jagt, PE, CFM is a water resource engineer and fluvial geomorphologist as well as the owner and founder of Watershed Science and Design. Katie has immersed herself in navigating the inter-connectedness and inter-dependencies of the physical and social landscape within watersheds and her focus is on understanding how human actions and interventions can influence a river system—and vice versa. Her career began in Seattle where she focused on the use of wood in river restoration and flood mitigation projects, she then moved to California and shifted towards planning for and quantifying the multiple benefits of large scale floodplain reconnection projects. Katie returned home to Colorado in 2012, and since 2013 has been providing extensive support to the State of Colorado in the wake of the 2013 Floods. Katie acted as deputy program manager for the execution of the EWP Phase 2 program and was a member of the CDBG-DR Technical Assistance team, providing engineering, geomorphic, and watershed science support to stakeholders, grantees, the State of Colorado and federal agencies. Additionally, Katie, along with Michael Blazewicz, is a lead author and developer of the State of Colorado’s Fluvial Hazard Zone Mapping program.

Katie has a M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Seattle University and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for post-graduate research on flood mitigation and ecosystem restoration at TU Delft in The Netherlands. Katie enjoys quiet snowy mornings, hot coffee, skiing, lifting heavy objects, hiking, river trips, cooking and is training to become a Yin Yoga Instructor. She hopes this document gives you insight into the road ahead.

Michael BlazewiczMichael Blazewicz is the founder of Round River Design a consulting firm that teams with scientists, engineers, planners and ecological designers to restore degraded stream corridors for the benefit of the human and natural communities that depend on healthy watersheds. The company takes its name from Aldo Leopold's classic essay which discussed a metaphorical river forever flowing through the land and then back into itself. Land, water, and communities, Leopold wrote, are not separate. Identifying, respecting, and enhancing these underlying connections lies at the root of Michael’s work where for the past 20 years he has focused on rehabilitating degraded river systems in the Northeast, Northwest, and Colorado. In Colorado, Michael worked cross-agency on the 2013 flood recovery effort working to assess, design, permit, construct and monitor restoration efforts as a core member of a Technical Assistance Team. His multi-functional design perspective was among the primary drivers working to innovate planning and implementation efforts. He recently co-authored a protocol, along with Katie Jagt, for the State of Colorado to map fluvial hazards with the long term goal of protecting life and infrastructure by identifying and avoiding existing hazards created when energized streams seek to express themselves on the landscape. In his spare time he practices permaculture design, runs and bikes mountain trails, and likes to ski, climb, hockey, surf, yoga, float rivers and sometimes even walk.

Michael designed an undergraduate study in watershed restoration at the University of Vermont (1999) and years later earned a masters of environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry (2010). 


Part 1: Introduction: William Dooley, Policy Analyst,
Association of State Wetland Managers
Presenter: Jeffrey Sickles, Engenuity Engineering
      Part 2: Presenters: Katie Jagt, Watershed Science and
Design and Michael Blazewicz, Round River Design 
Part 3: Presenter: Michael Blazewicz, Round River


 The Geography of Risk

Held Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 3:00pm-4:30pm

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Presenter: Gilbert M. GaulINTRODUCTION

William Dooley, Policy Analyst, Association of State Wetland Managers [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]



The last two decades have seen a dramatic increase in losses from hurricanes and floods at the coast – nearly $1 Trillion dollars, with the federal government paying for most of the damage. This talk explored the reasons for the surge in damages and losses, the risks posed by unchecked development on barrier islands, floodplains and wetlands, the likelihood of even larger losses in an age of climate change (warming oceans, sea level rise, bigger & more The Geography of Riskcatastrophic hurricanes and torrential rain bombs), and the ongoing efforts to make coastal communities more resilient.


Gilbert M. Gaul was Awarded Pulitzer Prizes in 1979 and 1990, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer four other times. Formerly a reporter for The Washington Post, New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer, he now writes books, including “The Geography of Risk: Epic Storms, Rising Seas and the Cost of America’s Coasts”, the subject of today’s webinar. He lives and surfs in New Jersey and North Carolina.



Part 1: Introduction: William Dooley, Policy Analyst,
Association of State Wetland Managers
Presenter: Gilbert M. Gaul, Author
      Part 2: Presenter: Gilbert M. Gaul, Author
Part 3: Questions/Answers        



Past NFF Webinars