Silver Jackets: Many Partners, One team


Many Partners, One Team


For More Information Contact

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Iowa Silver Jackets Coordinator, Email, 309-794-5690

Iowa Silver Jackets Interagency Flood Risk Management Team


Intergovernmental partnerships that foster and contribute to comprehensive and sustainable management of flood risk throughout the state of Iowa.


Iowa Silver Jackets Interagency Flood Risk Management Team will:

  • Influence the development and implementation of watershed initiatives;
  • Work to mitigate the threat, vulnerability and consequences of flooding throughout the State of Iowa;
  • Create a mechanism to collaboratively recommend and implement flood risk management solutions;
  • Share available flood risk management and other water related resources and information among agencies;
  • Increase and improve flood risk communication and outreach;
  • Promote wise stewardship of the taxpayers’ investments in flood risk management;
  • Develop more comprehensive regional flood risk management strategies through participation in the Regional Interagency Flood Risk Management Team;
  • Inform the Federal- and State-level agency directors during response and recovery activities; and
  • Integrate mitigation into recovery actions within the National Disaster Recovery Framework, Infrastructure Recovery Support Function, as appropriate.

Team Activities

Nonstructural Landuse Change Impacts on Structure Losses in Cedar River Communities

(pdf, 12.2 MB)

Communities often rely on floodplain maps based on historic flood frequency information that may no longer be accurate. Hydrologic variation due to land use and climate changes may cause greater flood risk than identified in currently available floodplain mapping products. New mapping and modeling with revised hydrology and hydraulics for evaluating flood risk often take considerable time and resources to develop, which a community's budget may not support. Consequently, communities are making land use decisions based on the best available science that may be outdated and no longer representative of the existing flood risk.

With this in mind, the Iowa Silver Jackets piloted an evaluation approach on the Cedar River Basin that can be utilized on other watersheds. It is an approach that can help identify which communities are most sensitive to changes in hydrology and provide a quick and inexpensive method for evaluating non-structural options, such as zoning and relocation and elevation of structures to reduce current and potential future flood risk.

Nonstructural and Natural Storage Approaches after Levee Damage

U.S. Flood RiskRecurring significant flood events and resultant physical damages to levees throughout the Midwest region have increased interest in implementing nonstructural alternatives to levee repairs. Public Law 84-99 (P.L. 84-99) provides the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) with the authority and responsibility to either repair flood-damaged levees enrolled in its levee Rehabilitation and Inspection Program or to implement nonstructural alternatives to those structural repairs.

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Following the Midwest floods of June 2008, the Iowa Interagency Levee Work Group (now Iowa Flood Risk Management Team [Iowa Silver Jackets]) identified and coordinated a precedent-setting nonstructural alternative to full repair of the Louisa County, Iowa, #11 Levee District's levee system. The alternative is a combination of over 300 acres of Natural Resources Conservation Service flood plain easements with significantly reduced structural repairs to protect a state highway. The alternative required the cooperation of the levee's public sponsor, the county and state mitigation agencies, USACE and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to implement. This nonstructural alternative consisted of leaving five breaches in the lower end of the levee system open while repairing two breaches in the upper end of the system. The remaining increment of repaired levee will continue to provide flood deflection benefits for a major county road and approximately 400 acres of agricultural lands within the levee district.

This alternative reconnects nearly 3,200 acres of previously isolated floodplain with the Iowa River as well as increased flood storage benefits to downstream interests. As a result of collaboration, over 1200 acres of formerly protected area was returned to the floodway, gaining not only improved environmental habitat but increase flood storage capacity while continuing to protect an important state road. The NRCS (Emergency Watershed Protection) easements were crucial in the sense that protection of those lands no longer provided benefits to support full structural repair. As implemented, the cost to PL 84-99 was estimated to be $187,000 less than the full structural repair.

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Participating Agencies



U.S. Army Corps of Engineers supports state-led Silver Jackets Teams through its Flood Risk Management Program.