Institute for Water Resources

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Value to the Nation

Flood Risk: Environmental Benefits

The Corps flood risk management and emergency response efforts help to limit the level of environmental damage caused nationwide by floods.

Environmental considerations also are an integral component of the planning process for all flood risk management projects the Corps undertakes. For example, the Corps continues to encourage the implementation of non-structural flood management solutions that involve modifying how floodplains are used or accommodating current uses to potential flood hazards. A non-structural approach helps avoid changes to the floodplains that might have a negative effect on the environment.

As part of its flood damage reduction efforts, the Corps also has instituted a program to manage sediment on coastal shores in an effort to protect property, infrastructure and valuable habitats.

When undertaking flood risk management studies, the Corps strives to balance and integrate society's needs for economic growth, public safety and environmental quality. Trade-offs must be evaluated to determine which project provides the greatest benefit to the nation. Finding a balance that is acceptable to all stakeholders and decision makers is one of the greatest challenges faced by the Corps.