Extension News

Grant Focuses on Education of Local Officials and Public on Floodplain Management

11/2/2010

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University Extension is part of a new $400,000 grant to educate the public about floodplains, flood risks and basic floodplain management principles, as part of Iowa’s flood mitigation efforts.

Of the grant, $300,000 will be used by Iowa State University Extension. ISU Extension will collaborate with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa, the newly-created Iowa Floodplain and Stormwater Management Association and others on public education programs.

“As a result of two major floods in the last 17 years, the state legislature has placed an emphasis on land use planning and floodplain and watershed management,” said Gary Taylor, ISU Extension planning and development specialist. “This grant will help city and county officials understand their roles in the floodplain and watershed management process, as well as help the public understand the risks associated with development in floodplains.”  Taylor said the education programs will focus on the science of watershed and floodplain management, as well as land use management policies.

As mandated by the state law that made the funding possible, the public education programs will be designed to educate Iowans about the need to take personal responsibility for the quality and quantity of water in their local watersheds, and to take personal responsibility for clean water and reducing the risk of flooding.

The $400,000 grant is part of a larger $312 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded to 13 states in August from the Disaster Recovery Enhancement Fund. Iowa was awarded the largest amount of $84.1 million in Community Development Block Grant funds, of which $10 million will benefit watershed and flood mitigation projects.

The Rebuild Iowa Office and several state agency representatives and community leaders announced Monday this grant and other new projects as part of the $10 million to help Iowa minimize erosion, manage runoff and mitigate future flood damage. The announcement was made at the University of Iowa’s Stanley Hydraulics Laboratory in Iowa City.

Read the full press release from the Rebuild Iowa Office for more information on how the rest of the grant dollars will be used.

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Contacts :

Gary Taylor, Community and Regional Planning, 515-290-0214, gtaylor@iastate.edu

Christopher Weishaar, Extension Communications and External Relations, 515-294-1327, cweishaa@iastate.edu