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Evansville / Vanderburgh Flood Informatiom


 
DRAINAGE SYSTEM BUILDING RESPONSIBILITY
FLOOD HAZARD NATURAL AND BENEFICIAL FUNCTIONS
FLOOD INSURANCE FLOOD WARNING SYSTEM
BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER FLOOD RIVER AND DAM GAUGES
NATURAL AND BENEFICIAL FUNCTIONS

Natural and Beneficial Functions of Floodplain

The Ohio River, Pigeon Creek, their tributaries and adjacent floodplain lands combine to form a complex, dynamic physical and biological system.  When portions of floodplains are used, preserved in or restored to their natural state, they provide many benefits to both natural and human systems.  Such natural processes cost far less money than it would take to build facilities to correct flood, stormwater, water quality and other community problems.

Natural and beneficial functions of floodplains fall into three categories:
Natural flood and erosion control; Biologic: and; Societal.
The following describe each category's natural and beneficial functions.

Natural flood and erosion control
Overtime floodplains develop their own ways to handle flooding and erosion with natural features that provide floodwater storage and conveyance, reduce flood velocities and flood peaks, and curb sedimentation.

Vegetation help to maintain water quality by filtering nutrients and impurities from stormwater runoff, processing organic wastes and moderating temperature fluctuations.

Floodplains also contribute to recharging groundwater by promoting infiltration and replenishment of aquifers, and by reducing the frequency and duration of low surface flows.

Biologic resources and functions
Floodplains enhance biological productivity by supporting a high rate of plant growth. This helps to maintain biodiversity and the integrity of ecosystems.

Floodplains provide and enhance habitats for fish, waterfowl and wildlife by serving as breeding and feeding grounds.

Societal resources and functions
The beneficial function of floodplains include the fact that they can be used to raise agricultural crops, to provide recreational opportunities and experiences; and to provide both scientific studies and outdoor educational opportunities.

Wild and cultivated plant products are both harvested in floodplains due to their prime agricultural soils made rich by sediment deposits. Wetlands also provide open space, which may be used to restore and enhance forest lands, or for recreational opportunities or simple enjoyment of their aesthetic beauty.

It is typical for floodplains to contain cultural resources such as historic or archaeological sites, like the Angel Mounds State Historic Site: http://www.angelmounds.org/

Similarly other resources important to citizens such as parks, bike paths, open spaces, wildlife conservation areas and aesthetic features are also located in floodplains.  A local example of preserved floodplain is the Eagle Slough Natural Area: http://www.eagleslough.org/

Floodplains can increase a community's overall quality of life, a role that often has been undervalued. By transforming floodplains from problem areas into value-added assets, the community can improve its quality of life. Assets like the resources listed above make the community more appealing to potential employers, investors, residents, property owners and tourists.

For more information:

Protecting Floodplain Resources - A Guidebook for Communities  FEMA 268
            This guidebook has been written to introduce officials and citizens at the local    level to a basic understanding of natural resources in floodplains and to offer suggestions for creating strategies for wisely managing these important areas.   As scientific understanding of ecosystems grows, the importance of conserving        and restoring the natural resources and functions of floodplains is increasingly             recognized. Historically effective floodplain management was recognized as a necessary task to reduce the loss of life and property. However, floodplain areas        are now also recognized as having an intrinsic value of their own as a part of the             interconnected ecosystem and an influential role in increasing a community's    quality of life.
http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=1419

 
 

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