Floodplain Management

3 min read

The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) is the world’s leading organization for floodplain management. The ASFPM started the Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) program which is a nationally recognized program. CFM’s are required to pass an extensive examination as well as complete continuing education and professional development requirements to maintain certification.

Each year, the Michigan chapter (MSFA) holds a conference that provides training and networking opportunities for all local CFMs. The national ASFPM holds an annual conference as well, that is held in a different state each year. This year, the 40th annual National Conference is being held in Michigan! The National Conference is the world’s largest and most comprehensive floodplain management conference. Experts from around the world will convene in Grand Rapids this June to learn about unique floodplain challenges in our state. PEA will have staff in attendance at this week long learning and networking opportunity that includes lectures, workshops and site tours in the Grand Rapids area.

The Great Lakes form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth.  That’s part of what makes our state so great! But, it can also create challenges for development and stormwater management. In addition to the Great Lakes, the state has extensive inland lakes, rivers and streams and hence, floodplains.

Working with a CFM, a developer can ensure that no adverse impacts will occur to the existing floodplains while still being able to help boost our state’s economy. A CFM can ensure that all proper approvals and permits are obtained and any necessary floodplain map revisions are completed. By building houses or commercial properties above the floodplain elevation, property owners can save thousands of dollars on flood insurance. PEA’s CFMs can complete grade certifications, floodplain map revisions, hydraulic and hydrologic studies using the US Army Corp of Engineers’ computer modeling programs: HEC-RAS and HEC-HMS, and assist with flood hazard mitigation measures.

PEA has several staff that are CFM certified. Our experience includes working with both public and private clients to meet their floodplain management needs. Specifically, PEA has worked on projects that range from residential subdivision design in floodplains and analyzing the impacts of golf cart bridges crossing rivers to relocating drainage courses or ensuring that critical use buildings and equipment built adjacent to the floodplain will be reasonably safe from coastal flooding and the impacts of wave action along with having access to the building during major storm events.

PEA can help assist you with any floodplain related investigations, approvals and permitting. Please contact me today!

About the Author:

Rachel Smith, PE, LEED AP, CFM, is a Senior Project Engineer at PEA, with 18 years of civil engineering experience. Rachel is responsible for the site engineering design (site layout, paving, grading, earthwork calculations, drainage design, storm sewer and water main design) for PEA. Rachel’s experience includes site feasibility studies, HEC-RAS floodplain analysis | management, stormwater studies, streambank stabilization plans, engineering reviews, geotechnical subsurface investigations, pavement assessments, laboratory testing and property condition assessments for PEA.

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