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Flood Risk Management Program

Flood Risk Management for Tribal Partners

The Corps works with tribes on a government-to-government basis to address flood risk management concerns by seeking knowledge that can enhance flood risk management policies and programs and by partnering on specific flood risk management projects.

Contact your local Corps district office.  The Corps can assist tribal governments with flood risk management, but the Corps must the match the desired assistance with appropriate authorities, programs and available funds appropriated by Congress. 

For example, the Water Resources Development Act authorizes the Corps to assist American Indian and Alaska Native tribes in preparing comprehensive plans for the development, use, and conservation of water and land-related resources, which is carried out through the Planning Assistance to States program.  The program is funded annually by Congress, with appropriations limited to $50,000 per Tribe but usually much less. Although some studies are cost-shared on a 50 percent Federal and 50 percent non-Federal basis, the Tribal Partnership Program authorized under Section 203 of WRDA 2000 allows for watershed studies and watershed management plans to be cost-shared on a 75 percent Federal and 25 percent tribal basis.

As another example, the Flood Control Act of 1960 authorizes the Corps to provide technical services and planning guidance to support effective floodplain management, which is carried out through the Floodplain Management Services program.  Program services are provided free to tribal governments.

When a disaster exceeds the capabilities of a Tribe, the Federal Government can provide needed additional assistance at the request of the Tribe's executive leadership.  In situations where there is an immediate threat to life and property, a Tribe may contact the local Corps District office directly to request assistance, which USACE is authorized to provide under the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Act (Public Law 84-99). Otherwise, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) serves as the lead agency for emergency operations, such as after Presidentially Declared Disasters, and the Corps must be tasked by FEMA to carry out its responsibilities in order to help ensure a more orderly and coordinated response (as specified by the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act). The local Corps emergency operations office can provide additional information.
 
The Corps has a Tribal Nations Program to implement Department of Defense American Indian/Alaska Native Policy and the Corps Tribal Policy Principles. Tribal liaisons are available that will listen to suggestions or answer questions.
 
Effectively communicating flood risk so that individuals and businesses are informed and can take appropriate action can be challenging. The Department of Homeland Security provides information about floods as part of its "Ready" National public service campaign.
The Silver Jackets program provides an opportunity to consistently bring together multiple state, Federal, and sometimes tribal and local agencies to learn from one another and apply their knowledge to reduce risk. Silver Jackets teams are developed at the state level, and partners come together in a common forum to address the state’s flood risk management priorities.
Flood Risk Management Program