Nature-Based Solutions and the FEMA Community Rating System
The Nature Conservancy released a new report Community Incentives for Nature-Based Flood Solutions: A guide to FEMA’s community rating system for conservation practitionersto help bridge the gap between conservation and flood risk reduction. The report highlights the nature-based components of the FEMA Community Rating System Program and details additional resources of interest for linking habitat protection and restoration with flood mitigation.
The Community Rating System is the National Flood Insurance Program’s voluntary program for recognizing and encouraging community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP standards. There are currently nearly 1,500 communities enrolled in CRS nationwide. Nature-based solutions—such as open space protection and wetland restoration—are creditable but often underutilized components of the CRS.
TNC seeks to foster collaboration among natural resource, floodplain, public works and hazard mitigation managers across the United States to increase and mainstream the use of nature-based solutions to improve FEMA Community Rating System Classifications. Today, nearly 1,500 communities are enrolled in CRS nationwide. We and our partners are actively working with communities, particularly along the Gulf Coast and the East Coast in areas recently impacted by floods, to identify conservation and restoration opportunities that will lead to significant flood insurance savings through the CRS.
Our report highlights the nature-based components of the FEMA Community Rating System Program and details additional resources of interest for linking habitat protection and restoration with flood mitigation. Hard copies of the report will be distributed at The Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation’s Annual Conference being held in New Orleans on September 12th.