Silver Jackets: Many Partners, One team

SILVER JACKETS

Many Partners, One Team

 

For More Information Contact

DC Department of Energy and Environment, Email, 202-763-4112

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Baltimore District, Email, 410-962-4977

Washington, D.C. Silver Jackets

The D.C. Silver Jackets is an interagency team comprised of members from federal, District of Columbia and regional agencies, as well as academia. This team leverages resources to identify and implement comprehensive, resilient, and sustainable solutions to reduce flood risk around the District and to assist local communities. Flood risk management is critical in the District, as there are three types of flooding that can impact low areas of the city: river; coastal storm surge; and interior.

The District formalized its Silver Jackets team in 2014 through an interagency Memorandum of Understanding currently signed by 13 federal and District agencies. However, the full team extends well beyond these agencies.

Establish and strengthen intergovernmental  federal and District partnerships as a catalyst for developing and implementing comprehensive, resilient, and sustainable solutions to the District’s flood hazard challenges.

The Team members will establish a continuous intergovernmental collaboration that works with other agencies and organization to accomplish the following: 

  • Facilitate strategic, integrated life-cycle mitigation actions to reduce the threat, vulnerability, and consequences of all types of flooding in the District;
  • Create or supplement a continuous mechanism to collaboratively solve District prioritized flood risk issues;
  • Increase and improve flood risk communication, awareness, and outreach to other organizations and the general public;
  • Foster leveraging of available resources and information among federal and District agencies;
  • Provide suggestions for comprehensive flood risk management policies and strategies;
  • Advocate changes to existing policies and processes that will improve life-cycle flood risk reduction; and
  • Promote wise stewardship of the taxpayers’ investments through the use of benefit-cost analysis.
  • Ensure continuous collaboration before, during, and after a disaster;
  • Identify and quantify flood risk;
  • Provide a forum for examining all types of solutions for flood risk management, including both non-structural and structural solutions;
  • Learn about member agency programs, identify limitations and opportunities, and combine programs to create integrated, comprehensive, resilient, and sustainable solutions;
  • Create a multi-agency technical resource for District and federal agencies;
  • Provide assistance in implementing high priority actions identified in the District’s multihazard mitigation plan and the District Response Plan (e.g., Support ESF#14 – Damage Assessment efforts in the aftermath of flood incidents);
  • Improve flood risk outreach by presenting a unified interagency message to better educate and advise mutual stakeholders;
  • Improve internal and external risk communication, including increased awareness of residual risk;
  • Identify and facilitate improvements to existing programs, policies, and processes;
  • Identify opportunities to combine resources, identify gaps, minimize duplicative efforts, and ensure consistency;
  • Catalog and share information on past and future projects and initiatives; and
  • Prioritize current and future initiatives individually and collectively.

 

Team Activities

DC Levee System and Flood Preparedness Public Outreach

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Park Service hosted a public meeting the evening of Oct. 30, 2018 in Southwest D.C. to share information with attendees on the results of a safety risk assessment completed for the District of Columbia Levee System, also referred to as the Potomac Park Levee. D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency also presented on flood preparedness measures for property and business owners/renters and evacuation procedures. The purpose of this meeting was to improve the public's understanding of flood risk in the area as well as to educate residents and businesses on steps they can take to prepare for and reduce damages from flooding. This meeting was held as part of a nationwide effort the Corps is leading to individually assess levees across the nation to determine their safety risks and present this information to the public. The information that goes into a risk assessment includes how often the area may flood; the condition of the levee system; and the population and development (including critical infrastructure) at risk behind the levee system.

Public Meeting Materials

*Click on the yellow comment icon on upper lefthand side of presentation slides to view notes.

Federal Triangle Area Flooding

The DC Silver Jackets initiated an interagency project in FY18 to re-engage stakeholders and determine a path forward for reducing the flood risk.  The Federal Triangle, which is comprised of federal and district buildings, experienced severe flooding and millions of dollars in damages in the June 2006 flood and then flooded again in July 2019. Some flood studies have been completed, however, the recommended solutions are costly and no agencies have moved forward with a comprehensive project. The intent of this project is to bring the myriad of stakeholders together to understand the flood risk, strategize potential innovative solutions, and determine a path forward for further study and design.

Two Federal Triangle Area Flood Workshops were held at the University of the District of Columbia, on June 6 and September 5, 2018 (see links to summary report and presentations below). The intent of the first workshop was to provide attendees with an overview of the flood history and risk in the Federal Triangle; discuss steps individual agencies are taking to flood proof their properties; present on types of interior flood risk management measures; and engage on key opportunities and challenges related to interior flooding in the area. The second workshop focused on potential flood risk management solutions.

In May 2019, the key stakeholder agency leaders met to discuss the results of the two workshops and to decide on a path forward.  The agency leaders showed support for moving forward collectively with studying comprehensive solutions to the flooding problem.  They committed to support several short-term tasks by providing data and personnel and agreed to work towards scoping and funding strategies for a longer-term feasibility study.

Following the leadership meeting, the DC Silver Jackets team hosted an interagency charrette on February 21, 2020 with key public agency stakeholders with facility management and/or operational responsibilities to further evaluate the flood risk management alternatives. The charrette summary and presentation is below.

Federal Triangle Area Flood Workshops

June 6, 2018 Workshop Presentations

September 5, 2018 Workshop Presentations

Federal Triangle Area Flood Charrette, February 21, 2020

Photograph of the Federal Triangle Charrette from February 21, 2020

Photograph of the Federal Triangle Charrette from February 21, 2020

Watts Branch Flood Risk Management Study

The District of Columbia Silver Jackets has completed a multi-year flood risk management study for neighborhoods along Watts Branch, which is a tributary of the Anacostia River, in the northeast corner of the District of Columbia. These neighborhoods are in a special flood-hazard area (within the 100-year floodplain) and consist of high-density residential and non-residential structures and critical infrastructure with vulnerable populations, including a public housing development. These high-risk flood zone areas will likely expand even further considering the effects of climate change. A flood in an area with vulnerable populations can have a devastating impact on the residents and community, including the loss of jobs and displaced residents.

The study results will help the District of Columbia achieve flood-risk reduction goals within their All-Hazard Mitigation Plan. The D.C. Climate Change Adaptation Plan also identified Watts Branch as one of four priority areas within the District to be addressed.

The study assessed existing flood risks and future flood risks due to climate change; updated floodplain maps which will allow the community and local organizations to better understand their flood risk; identified individual and watershed-wide flood risk management strategies and neighborhood climate-resilience policies and strategies; and study partners participated in outreach activities to raise awareness of flood risk and promote risk-reduction actions.

Partner agencies include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; D.C. Office of Planning; D.C. Water; D.C. Department of Energy and Environment; Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs; D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency; Environmental Protection Agency; National Weather Service; Federal Emergency Management Agency; U.S. Geological Survey; and Georgetown University.

Washington, D.C. Silver Jackets logo


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