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David Mallory, P.E., CFM, UDFCD Julie Ash, P.E., Walsh Environmental Scientists & Engineers, LLC & the Colorado Riparian Association ASFPM– May 22, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "David Mallory, P.E., CFM, UDFCD Julie Ash, P.E., Walsh Environmental Scientists & Engineers, LLC & the Colorado Riparian Association ASFPM– May 22, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 David Mallory, P.E., CFM, UDFCD Julie Ash, P.E., Walsh Environmental Scientists & Engineers, LLC & the Colorado Riparian Association ASFPM– May 22, 2012

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3 What are we trying to protect? What are we trying to protect? Flood losses = f (riparian area losses) Flood losses = f (riparian area losses) Natural processes for riparian floodplains Natural processes for riparian floodplains Diverse ecosystem services Diverse ecosystem services Anthropogenic impacts Anthropogenic impacts Protection serves ALL! Protection serves ALL! Good for plants and wildlife Good for plants and wildlife Good for people Good for people Good for communities Good for communities Good for business Good for business

4 Riparian Floodplain terminology Not new, but needs mainstream use What are we trying to protect?

5 the green line or ribbons of green Riparian areas in the Western U.S. often provide the only visible green vegetation Riparian areas in the Western U.S. often provide the only visible green vegetation They convey the contrast with the surrounding dry landscape of the arid west They convey the contrast with the surrounding dry landscape of the arid west What are we trying to protect?

6 Riparian areas comprise less than one percent of the land area of most western states, yet up to 80 percent of all wildlife species in this region of the country are dependent upon riparian areas for at least part of their life cycles. Robert H. Wayland III, EPA Congressional Testimony, June 26, 1997

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8 The riparian zone provides important habitat for wetland species and serves as a migratory corridor for waterfowl, shorebirds, mammals, and other animals. U. S. Geological Survey What are we trying to protect? small proportion of the landscape…essential habitat for a variety of plants and animalssmall proportion of the landscape…essential habitat for a variety of plants and animals U. S. Army Corps of Engineers

9 there is a universal benefit in preserving the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains Urban Drainage & Flood Control District Riparian communities in the Western U.S. are the most productive habitats in North America and provide irreplaceable wildlife habitat for breeding, wintering, and migration. Bureau of land Management What are we trying to protect?

10 Consensus that riparian floodplains are: Rare, sensitive, irreplaceable Rare, sensitive, irreplaceable Highly functioning Highly functioning Consensus across the board: Local, State, Federal agencies Local, State, Federal agencies Researchers and practitioners Researchers and practitioners Board & membership of: Board & membership of: Colorado Riparian Association (CRA) Colorado Riparian Association (CRA) Colorado Watershed Assembly (CWA) Colorado Watershed Assembly (CWA) Colorado Foundation for Water Education (CFWE) Colorado Foundation for Water Education (CFWE) Land managers, ranchers, watershed non-profits Land managers, ranchers, watershed non-profits

11 What are we trying to protect? It is not all that often that the scientific community comes to a consensus on important issues. When it does happen, it sends a powerful message… And helps us remember that riparian floodplains require our highest protections and stewardship… But it doesnt end there…

12 What are we trying to protect? When we protect riparian floodplains, they do tremendous amounts of work for us …in myriad ways (flood protection, bed/bank/soil stability, WQ, groundwater recharge, more…) …for free …and in perpetuity! (more on this to come…)

13 What are we trying to protect? What are we trying to protect? Flood losses = f (riparian area losses) Flood losses = f (riparian area losses) Natural processes for riparian floodplains Natural processes for riparian floodplains Diverse ecosystem services Diverse ecosystem services Anthropogenic impacts Anthropogenic impacts Protection serves ALL! Protection serves ALL! Good for plants and wildlife Good for plants and wildlife Good for people Good for people Good for communities Good for communities Good for business Good for business

14 Floods are Acts of Nature; But Flood Losses are largely Acts of Man. Dr. Gilbert Fowler White Gustavson Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geography University of Colorado 70 Years of Leadership in the Field of Floodplain Management Photo: Ken Abbott/UCB

15 $6 billion annually by late 1900s Four-fold increase from early 1900s Per capita damages increased by more than a factor of 2.5 in the previous century in real dollar terms And then there was Katrina, Rita, Ike… And 2011….. Flood losses = Flood losses = f (riparian area losses)

16 1974 Photo 2009 Photo

17 Initial Risk Upstream Development Increases Peak Discharges Upstream Channelization Speeds Flood Peaks Approval of Development in High Risk Areas Under-communication of Risk Critical Facilities Not Protected From Flooding Lack of Early Warning and Evacuation Plans Lack of Flood Insurance Failure to Maintain Flood Control Structures

18 We are doing this to ourselves! Flood losses = Flood losses = f (riparian area losses)

19 It is striking that in a century of evolving public policy the prevailing aim has been to minimize losses from floods and not to optimize the net social benefits from using floodplain resources. In simplest terms, it is the contrast between loss reduction and wise use.

20 A floodplain is being put to wise use when the activities that take place on it are compatible with both the risks to human life and property from floods and the risks to the floodplains natural functions posed by the human activities. UNP 1994

21 What are we trying to protect? What are we trying to protect? Flood losses = f (riparian area losses) Flood losses = f (riparian area losses) Natural processes for riparian floodplains Natural processes for riparian floodplains Diverse ecosystem services Diverse ecosystem services Anthropogenic impacts Anthropogenic impacts Protection serves ALL! Protection serves ALL! Good for plants and wildlife Good for plants and wildlife Good for people Good for people Good for communities Good for communities Good for business Good for business

22 Natural processes for riparian floodplains …a floodplain can be broadly defined as a landscape feature that is periodically inundated by water from an adjacent river. …floodplains are geomorphic features - formed and influenced by river flows and sediment - upon which ecosystems develop and operate. …floodplains are geomorphic features - formed and influenced by river flows and sediment - upon which ecosystems develop and operate. Opperman et al, 2010, Ecologically Functional Floodplains: Connectivity, Flow Regime, and Scale. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 46(2): DOI; /j x Periodic flooding of overbank areas is a natural process that supports healthy riparian corridors Periodic flooding of overbank areas is a natural process that supports healthy riparian corridors

23 What are we trying to protect? What are we trying to protect? Flood losses = f (riparian area losses) Flood losses = f (riparian area losses) Natural processes for riparian floodplains Natural processes for riparian floodplains Diverse ecosystem services Diverse ecosystem services Anthropogenic impacts Anthropogenic impacts Protection serves ALL! Protection serves ALL! Good for plants and wildlife Good for plants and wildlife Good for people Good for people Good for communities Good for communities Good for business Good for business

24 Diverse Ecosystem Services Shading, cooling Shading, cooling Detritus supply Detritus supply Filtering Filtering Habitat value Habitat value Groundwater recharge Groundwater recharge Replenish soils Replenish soils Water quality Water quality Plant life cycles (cottonwoods) Plant life cycles (cottonwoods) Products (food, timber, fish, medicines) Products (food, timber, fish, medicines) Climate regulation Climate regulation Bank Stabilization Bank Stabilization Reduce erosion (fluvial, wave action) Reduce erosion (fluvial, wave action) Endangered species protection Endangered species protection Flood protection (energy breaks) Flood protection (energy breaks) Store & convey floodwaters Store & convey floodwaters Travel corridors Travel corridors Hyporheic zone Hyporheic zone Breeding & feeding grounds Breeding & feeding grounds Biodiversity Biodiversity Recreation, Tourism Recreation, Tourism

25 What are we trying to protect? What are we trying to protect? Flood losses = f (riparian area losses) Flood losses = f (riparian area losses) Natural processes for riparian floodplains Natural processes for riparian floodplains Diverse ecosystem services Diverse ecosystem services Anthropogenic impacts Anthropogenic impacts Protection serves ALL! Protection serves ALL! Good for plants and wildlife Good for plants and wildlife Good for people Good for people Good for communities Good for communities Good for business Good for business

26 Anthropogenic impacts Upland square area where small impacts may cause only localized damage Riparian corridor thin, linear where small impacts cause significant damage, including fragmentation

27 Anthropogenic impacts Urbanization often results in a transition from intermittent to perennial flow and the conversion of grassy swale systems to stream systems with defined bed and banks. Urbanization accelerates stream degradation that disconnects low flow channels from floodplains.

28 Anthropogenic impacts

29 Willow Creek, Granby, Colorado Minimal anthropogenic impacts Drainage Basin109 sq.mi. Base Flow<20 cfs Avg Annual Peak540 cfs Q1001,335 cfs Q5001,540 cfs Qpeak 2011<1,700 cfs (gage overtopped)

30 Anthropogenic impacts/ Land management choices

31 What are we trying to protect? What are we trying to protect? Flood losses = f (riparian area losses) Flood losses = f (riparian area losses) Natural processes for riparian floodplains Natural processes for riparian floodplains Diverse ecosystem services Diverse ecosystem services Anthropogenic impacts Anthropogenic impacts Protection serves ALL! Protection serves ALL! Good for plants and wildlife Good for plants and wildlife Good for people Good for people Good for communities Good for communities Good for business Good for business

32 Michelle Leach, Matrix Design Group Bill DeGroot, UDFCD Michelle Slovensky, Matrix Design Group David Mallory, UDFCD

33 Developers are in the business to make money. If there is money to be made developing in the floodplain, they will do it. So, we need to show them how to make money by preserving the floodplain instead of destroying it. Protection serves ALL!

34 Local governments depend on development to provide the tax revenues which sometimes leads to decisions that are damaging to the floodplain resource. So we need to show them how to have development that provides the tax revenue, but also develops floodplains into a community amenity and asset. Protection serves ALL!

35 We had a good examples page on our web site where we tried to direct developers but with limited success We saw the opportunity to prepare a brochure which would market the floodplain as an asset to developers and communities that could be distributed early in the planning process, for instance, at a pre-application meeting

36 Presents to the development community an alternative to the overly emphasized engineering approach for channel design. Illustrates projects that were economically successful. Demonstrates that completed projects are an asset to residents who live in them and the community at large. Protection serves ALL!

37 Too many community leaders feel they must choose between economic growth and open space protection. But no such choice is necessary. Open space protection is good for a communitys health, stability, beauty, and quality of life. It is also good for the bottom line. Will Rogers, President, Trust for Public Land The Economic Benefits of Parks and Open Space

38 Recognize the legitimate profit motive of developers, and the need local governments have for tax revenue and amenities for their citizens Use these needs in conjunction with preserving the natural and beneficial values of floodplains and No Adverse Impact to arrive at the best solution for all parties Protection serves ALL!

39 How do we quantify the economic values of healthy natural systems and the protections they offer? Ecosystem Services and Green Infrastructure as widely understood concepts…were getting there! Collective We…current research & available resources… Protection serves ALL!

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41 Wednesday Plenary: Economic Value of Floodplain Ecosystems

42 New York City: Purchased land for watershed protection, 70,000 acres at a cost of $1.5B Equivalent Filtration Plant $6B plus $250M/yr O&M Milwaukee: Greenseams Program: 2100 ac at $28M absorbs 1.3B gal Deep Tunnel: 405M gal cost $3B

43 If natural flood protection, salmon productivity, storm water conveyance or drinking water services are lost, then tax districts are formed, and storm water systems, levees, hatcheries and filtration plants must be built. Real costs are incurred to replace services that were previously free. C-3 Economic Benefits of Floodplain Management

44 Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance multiple partner collaboration Natural Hazard Mitigation Association - NHMA Natural Hazard Mitigation Association - NHMA Make Room for the River Initiative, Holland Make Room for the River Initiative, Holland Functional Objectives for Stream Restoration Functional Objectives for Stream Restoration USACE ERDC Non-structural projects, USACE Non-structural projects, USACE Current research/ resources:

45 EPA: Draft Inventory of USEPA & USDA Research on Ecosystem Services, Jul 14, 2010 EPA: Draft Inventory of USEPA & USDA Research on Ecosystem Services, Jul 14, 2010 EPA: National Ecosystem Services Partnership (NESP), Apr 20, 2010 EPA: National Ecosystem Services Partnership (NESP), Apr 20, 2010 Current research/ resources:

46 Protection serves ALL! National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center & The Conservation Fund National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center & The Conservation Fund course on a Green Infrastructure approach course on a Green Infrastructure approach Green Infrastructure Peer Exchanges Green Infrastructure Peer Exchanges

47 Protection serves ALL! Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005 – international effort called for by United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005 – international effort called for by United Nations Current research/ resources:

48 Good motto: HUG A TREE Better motto: THANK A TREE

49 Contemplative Viewing AreasWildlife ViewingRaccoon Tracks Riparian Planting Photos courtesy of Michelle Slovensky David Mallory Julie


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