Webinar: Reducing Flood Risk: 13 Success Stories in the U.S.

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Date(s) - 02/20/2020
10:00 am PST - 11:00 am PST


As flood-related disasters become increasingly common and costly, causing more than $845 billion in U.S. losses since 2000, there’s a growing need for action from all levels of government to get ahead of the next storm. To help provide decisionmakers with a menu of options, The Pew Charitable Trusts examined state and local pre-disaster flood mitigation efforts from across the country.

Join ICLEI USA and The Pew Charitable Trusts for a webinar to discuss the culmination of Pew’s research, a report entitled “Mitigation Matters,” which identifies 13 proactive local or state policies that have effectively reduced flood risk. The report, which can be accessed here, organizes policies into three categories: 1) those leveraging existing funds for mitigation by redirecting revenue and spending, such as rebates and grants, 2) those creating revenue sources through taxes and revolving loans, and 3) those that establish smarter regulations like placing guardrails on floodplain development. During the webinar, Pew’s Matt Fuchs and Sarah Edwards will discuss key takeaways and lessons learned from the research.

0:00 – ICLEI: Welcome/announcements
0:05 – Introductions and Overview of Pew’s Flood-Prepared Communities initiative
0:10 – Mitigation Matters research: Overview, policy categories and profile examples
0:20 – Mitigation Matters research: Lessons learned
0:30 – Pew: Additional resources
0:40 – ICLEI: Concluding remarks
0:50 – Questions


Meet your panelists

Sarah Edwards, Associate, Flood-Prepared Communities, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Sarah Edwards is an associate with Pew’s flood-prepared communities team. Her work includes researching state and local policy to reduce flood risks and assessing trends of flood disasters and mitigation activity across the country. While attending William & Mary Law School, she worked at its Virginia Coastal Policy Center (VCPC). Her work at VCPC focused on implementing regulations under the National Flood Insurance Program for Virginia localities, as well as socio-economic concerns related to recurrent flooding. She wrote a model ordinance on this subject that was published in the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review. Edwards received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of South Carolina and a Juris Doctor from William & Mary Law School.


Matthew Fuchs, Officer, Flood-Prepared Communities, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Matthew Fuchs leads research and disaster mitigation efforts for Pew’s flood-prepared communities initiative. In his research role, he has analyzed public school flood risk and developed profiles of communities that have implemented policies that make them more resilient to floods. His focus at Pew also includes working with bipartisan members of Congress to advance policy solutions and build support for innovative financing mechanisms to fund mitigation activities. Before joining Pew, Fuchs served at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he managed the Mitigation Framework Leadership Group, the nation’s executive-level policy group for disaster mitigation. Prior to FEMA, he received the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Thought Leadership Award for designing and piloting Resilience STAR, a government-backed label for structures built to withstand extreme weather. Previously he held policy positions at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the Maryland Governor’s Office of Homeland Security. Fuchs holds a bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a juris doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Jesse Carpentier, Program Officer, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustianability USA
Jesse provides technical assistance to ICLEI members on resilience and adaptation planning. Before joining ICLEI, Jesse worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 9 as a Hazard Mitigation Planner. In this role, she provided technical assistance to local, tribal, and state agencies on hazard mitigation and climate adaptation planning, and reviewed plans for consistency with federal grant requirements. Prior to FEMA, Jesse was an Environmental Planner with Rincon Consultants, where she conducted environmental impact analyses for proposed projects and quantified greenhouse gas emissions for various sustainability initiatives. She has a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from Cal Poly State University, and a B.A. in Economics from Humboldt State University. When she’s not working, she is probably riding her bike, playing music, or reading a book in the company of her cat-children, Jordy and Josie.

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