Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Flood Inundation Maps & Report Released for Lake Champlain & Richelieu River

In the last post, information was provided about the draft report prepared by a working group of the International Joint Commission (IJC) about flood inundation and forecasting in the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River watershed.  The IJC is a a collaboration between the US and Canada to provide coordination, management and protection of shared watersheds. Here in Vermont, we have representatives that have been appointed to the International Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Technical Working Group.

Today, the final report that came out of the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Technical Working Group was released.  The report, A real-time flood forecasting and flood inundation mapping system for the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River watershed, was an outcome of a 2013 comprehensive Plan of Study.

From the press release:

"The IJC endorses the TWG observation that enhanced coordination among agencies involved in real-time forecasts is necessary to support the development and maintenance of forecast models and quality-controlled joint water level predictions. The Commission endorses the TWG recommendation that a binational coordination body be mandated and funded to consolidate and synthesize flood forecasting work undertaken domestically into a single binational flood forecast. This body would also be charged with developing and disseminating consistent messaging to emergency responders and the public.

"Consequently, the new IJC report does not evaluate potential flood mitigation measures as this was outside the terms of reference provided by governments.

"The Commission reiterates its strong recommendation that governments implement the full scope of the 2013 Plan of Study (PoS) to evaluate past impacts, flood plain management practices and adaptation strategies, and to assess soft (i.e., low impact and cost) to moderate flood mitigation measures and their impacts."

An outcome of the report was a series of inundation flood maps that show the areas of the Lake Champlain and Richelieu River shorelines that would be inundated when the Lake flood waters are at a certain height. Again, from the press release:

"The inundation maps show flooding potential under different flood scenarios and are not designed for regulatory purposes. A preview of these maps is available on the IJC web site at: http://arcg.is/1MhXui2."

Please take some time to explore the inundation maps, as well as read through the final report which can be found at http://ijc.org/files/publications/Lake-Champlain-IJC-Report-to-Govts-Dec-2015-NEW.pdf 

Monday, November 16, 2015

IJC invites public comment on draft flood forecasting and mapping report for Lake Champlain and Richelieu River

IJC invites public comment on draft flood forecasting and mapping report for Lake Champlain and Richelieu River and previews flood inundation maps

The International Joint Commission (IJC) is requesting comments from the public on a draft report to enhance flood preparedness and warnings for Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River by December 10, 2015.  Specifically the IJC asks if the report’s recommendations are sound and whether the recommendations address real needs for enhanced flood preparedness and warnings for Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River.  The Commission is also inviting the public to preview the associated flood inundation maps.

Following the submission of IJC’s  July 2013 Plan of Study “The Identification of Measures to Mitigate Flooding and the Impacts of Flooding of Lake Champlain and Richelieu River” (POS), the governments of the United States and Canada asked the IJC to address two issues associated with the system wide flooding in 2011:
a. closing the gaps in the data needed for a future real-time flood forecasting and inundation mapping system, and
b. the creation of static flood inundation map products.

The IJC appointed the International Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Technical Working Group (TWG) comprised of technical experts from United States, Canada, Quebec, Vermont, and New York to address the two issues. The IJC is now inviting public comment on the TWG’s draft report Toward an operational real-time flood forecasting and flood inundation mapping system for the Lake Champlain and Richelieu River.

The TWG report includes six recommendations addressing the need to:

1. Implement an operational probabilistic approach for forecasting floods, including modelling of wind set up and wave action;
2. Keep the Henry and Grand Isle water level station to maintain water level calibration and also install wave buoys to assist in wave model calibration;
3. Institute a binational coordination body such as an IJC Board to support agencies involved in real time forecasting;
4. Acquire new bathymetric data for the Richelieu River between Sorel and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu;
5. Create a single consistent Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for the entire Lake Champlain-Richelieu River basin following the completion and quality control of LiDAR and bathymetric data acquisition; and
6. Generate static flood inundation maps for the entire Lake Champlain Richelieu River system.

The current effort has significantly advanced the creation of flood-inundation maps for the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River system. These maps provide an emergency planning tool for authorities and the general public on land that may flood during high water events. Static inundation maps were created for the Vermont side of Lake Champlain and a portion of the New York northeastern shoreline on the US side, and for the Richelieu River from the border to downstream of the Fryers Rapids on the Canadian side. A preview of these maps is available on the IJC web site at: http://arcg.is/1MhXui2 , however, the site is under construction and the text accompanying the maps is in French only at this time. A complete LiDAR Digital Elevation Model available in Canada also allowed for the representation of inundation depths for the 11 flood scenarios.  The inundation maps are not designed for regulatory purposes, but rather to show flooding potential under different conditions.  Furthermore the report does not evaluate potential flood mitigation measures as this was outside of the scope of the reference from governments.

This public comment period is being held from November 16 to December 10, at which time the IJC will consider public comments before submitting its final report to governments.


Nick Heisler  (English)  Ottawa 613-992-8367 Heislern@ottawa.ijc.org

Sarah Lobrichon (French)      Ottawa 613-992-5368 LobrichonS@ottawa.ijc.org

Frank Bevacqua Washington 202-736-9024 Bevacquaf@washington.ijc.org

Sarah Lobrichon
Policy and Communications Analyst | Analyste des politiques et des communications
International Joint Commission | Commission mixte internationale
234 Laurier Ave. West, 22nd Floor, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1P 6K6
234, avenue Laurier Ouest, 22e étage, Ottawa (Ontario), Canada K1P 6K6
Telephone | Téléphone 613-992-5368 / Facsimile | Télécopieur 613-993-5583

Imagine two countries sharing hundreds of lakes and rivers along their border without conflict
Imaginez deux pays qui partagent des centaines de lacs et de rivières le long de la frontière sans conflit

Friday, September 18, 2015

No Adverse Impact Lunch & Learn Webinar 10/7/2015

Reposting here for those who may be interested in participating.  Boulder, Colorado had been greatly impacted by riverine erosion flooding in 2013 and they face somewhat similar flooding hazards to parts of Vermont.  As a result of the 2013 flooding, the Colorado Legislature passed a bill that creates a riverine erosion hazard mapping program to plan around flood-related erosion hazards.

-VT Floodplain Management  

Dear Floodplain Officials & NAI Committee Members,

The Georgia Association of Floodplain Managers (GAFM), No Adverse Impact (NAI) Committee, in conjunction with the ASFPM NAI Committee, is pleased to announce our next Webinar:
Topic: The 90 Mile Road To Recovery - Boulder County’s Flood Recovery Journey
Host: Michael Baker International, Inc.
Presenter: Kevin Doyle, P.E., Michael Baker International
Date and Time: Wednesday October 7, 2015 12:00pm-1:00 pm, EDT
Event Password: event1

**ASFPM has approved this webinar for (1) Continuing Education Credit (CEC).  Note that if you are a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM), please indicate that on the registration page title block (i.e., Your Name, CFM)**

  1. Introductions and Roll Call (5 min)
  2. Webinar - Presentation (40 min)
  3. Question and Answer (10 min)
  4. Closing - Future Topics/Presenters (5 min)
**Note you must register in advance to participate and to receive CFM credit.**

Please click on the link below and follow the instructions to register for the webinar:
  1. Go to https://mbakercorp.webex.com/mbakercorp/onstage/g.php?d=660746305&t=a
  2. Click "Register"
  3. On the registration form, please enter your information in the title block and then click "Submit"
Once registered you will receive a confirmation email with the call-in number and web link to participate in the webinar. Registered participants will also receive a copy of the presentation via email the day of the event.

Thank you and we look forward to your participation. 

Sean Roche, PE, CFM
GAFM NAI Committee Chairman

ASFPM NAI Committee Education & Outreach Liaison

Thursday, August 13, 2015

September 1 and 2 Bennington County - Flood Insurance Meetings

The Bennington County maps showing high risk flood hazard areas will officially change on December 2. Two open house events are scheduled for people that want to learn more about flood risk, flood insurance and the effect of the map update.  

Is your house or business in a hazard area?   This is a particularly important question for buildings that are identified as at a high risk on the December map but not at high risk on the older map.

FEMA Flood Information Open House Events are scheduled for:
• Tuesday September 1, 4-6:30 pm Manchester at the Spiral Press Café, 15 Bonnet Street, and
• Wednesday September 2, 4 -7 pm Bennington at the Bennington Free Library, 101 Silver Street

At these events Bennington county residents can meet one-on-one with Federal and State officials to identify if their building is in a Special Flood Hazard Area.   FEMA insurance specialists will be on hand to discuss flood insurance requirements and opportunities to make your building safer and less costly to insure.

Getting insurance now, before the map change to “grandfather the old zone” may be an important opportunity in situations where the older maps show a building to be outside the Special Flood Hazard Area and the new map shows it in.

The new December 2015 flood maps can be viewed on the Flood Ready Atlas: tinyurl.com/floodreadyatlas .   Use Flood Ready Tools to “Find Address” and “Toggle Flood Data On”.  

The older maps can be viewed on FEMA’s Map Service Center www.msc.fema.gov .

These open house events for flood resiliency are provided to help residents understand flood risks as shown on the new Bennington County Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map and to take steps to reduce the risk of flood damage to families, buildings and communities.

Live in Bennington County? Check the New Flood Map! (6/9/15)

Monday, August 10, 2015

9/24 Demystifying Floodplain Maps: Real Estate Course

Demystifying FEMA and Floodplain Maps and Vermont’s Use Value Appraisal Program
 4 Continuing Education Credits, $75, Rutland

Demystifying FEMA and Floodplain Maps
Learn about the ins and outs of flood hazard and river corridor maps with Ned Swanberg from the VT Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Rivers Program. Ned will demonstrate how to access and interpret map data, understand NFIP insurance requirements, municipal and state regulations, flood mitigation opportunities for buildings and strategies to help communities reduce losses from flooding and channel erosion.

Vermont’s Use Value Appraisal Program
In order to encourage the use of land for agricultural production or forest management, the state of Vermont adopted policy that allows farmers and foresters to enroll their land in the Current Use program in 1978. The land is then taxed at the use value rather than the fair market value – so the land is appraised at what it is used for, rather than what it could be sold for at the highest market value. Now about 1/3 of Vermont’s total land area is enrolled in Current Use. Because the program helps many of Vermont’s farms stay in business and resist the financial lure of selling land into development, Rural Vermont has defended and helped strengthen Current Use throughout its existence. This course will provide Real Estate professionals with the information they need to share options regarding land with current use eligibility as well as the responsibilities, potential penalties, and the many benefits of Current Use enrollment to property buyers and sellers.

  • When: Thursday, September 24, 2015
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
  • Where: College of St. Joseph at 71 Clement Road, Rutland, VT (St. Joseph Hall Room 105) 

The Rutland Natural Resources Conservation District and Lake Champlain Sea Grant Program are offering 4 credits of Continuing Education approved by the VT Real Estate Commission - Demystifying FEMA and Floodplain Maps and (2 hours) and Vermont’s Use Value Appraisal Program (2 hours).

Fee is $75.00 per person. Fee includes coffee, bagels, pastries, juice and credits
*Note: Courses with fewer than 10 pre-registered attendees may be postponed or cancelled

For more information, contact Nanci McGuire at 802-775-8034 x.117 or nanci.mcguire@vt.nacdnet.net

Registration Form

Demystifying FEMA and Floodplain Maps and Vermont’s Use Value Appraisal Program
Continuing Education Course June 5, 2015 at College of St. Joseph (St. Joseph Hall Room 105) 71 Clement Rd., Rutland, VT

Pre-registration required by September 11, 2015. Payment is required at time of registration.

If more than one person is attending from the same office, please register separately






Amount Enclosed: ($75.00 per person)

PLEASE make checks payable to RNRCD and mail checks and registration to RNRCD, 170 South Main St., Suite 4, Rutland, VT 05701.

Monday, July 20, 2015

FEMA 4-day Course: Introductory Floodplain Management Class to be Offered in Portsmouth, NH 9/28-10/1/2015

ASFPM is co-sponsoring the FEMA Emergency Management Institute (EMI) 273 course in Portsmouth, NH with FEMA Region I and the New Hampshire Office of Energy & Planning in September. This course is designed to provide an organized training opportunity for local officials responsible for administering their local floodplain management ordinance. The course will focus on the NFIP and concepts of floodplain management, maps and studies, ordinance administration, and the relationship between floodplain management and flood insurance.

A separate (optional) CFM exam will be held on Friday, October 2nd. Course attendance is NOT required to sit for the CFM exam. Please see details below for more information.

COST: Course attendance is FREE, but registration is required. Attendees are responsible for their own travel, lodging, and meal expenses.   

Registration deadline: September 1, 2015. To register for the course, please follow instructions in the course flyer.

Please contact Jennifer Gilbert at 603-271-1762 or jennifer.gilbert@nh.gov

CFM Exam* (optional)
October 2, 2015, 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Portsmouth, NH

Separate registration and fee required to sit for the CFM Exam. Exam applications and fee must be submitted to ASFPM not later than September 23, 2015 in order to sit for the exam on October 2, 2015.
*CFM exam is optional, and a separate registration and fee are required to sit for the CFM exam.  Note: The 273 course is not a CFM Exam prep course; takers should not expect to pass the exam without additional study of materials found at the CFM Exam Preparation Guide.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Interactive Flood Inundation Mapper Released for Waterbury

The USGS Flood Inundation Mapper now includes data for Waterbury Village, Vermont.   This web-based map tool allows you to see the extent of upcoming flooding based on flood predictions from the National Weather Service.

This is the first demonstration of the USGS Flood Inundation Mapper in Vermont and it will be particularly helpful in emergency situations.  The National Weather Service already has a NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service page for Waterbury that predicts how high the river will get (stage) and describes where the water will spread.  The new USGS Flood Inundation Mapper will work together with the NWS page to visually illustrate the buildings, roads and services that will be affected during specific flood events.

Zoom to Waterbury, Vermont and click on the triangle.

USGS has also released an updated study of flood hazards in Waterbury.  This new study uses fresh information about river flows and improved landscape information covering the area north of Main Street.   The FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map in effect now used flood information up through 1998.

Flood maps for the Winooski River in Waterbury, Vermont, Scott Olson 2014: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5077.  

On the Waterbury Flood Inundation Mapper – the extent of flooding at the 429 foot stage just exceeds the USGS calculation for the extent of the one percent annual chance flood.

In April 2015 Waterbury also received an independent study commissioned by the Lake Champlain Basin Program:

Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Floodplain Protection Activities in Waterbury, Vermont and Willsboro, New York, Lake Champlain Basin, U.S.A.R. Schiff, S. Bighinatti, E. Fitzgerald, N. Wahlund, D. Carlton, A. Church, J. Louisos, and B. Cote, Milone and MacBroom, Inc.; Fitzgerald Environmental Associates; Earth Economics, and DK Carlton and Associates. April 2015.

One page summary: Floodplain Management Economics Fact Sheet, Waterbury, Vermont.

This Lake Champlain Basin Program study looked at mapped flood hazards as well as trends affecting future flooding.  This thorough study was particularly attentive to the costs and benefits for communities like Waterbury to plan and create an affordable flood resilient future.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

New Technical Support Hotline for Flood Insurance Claims

Technical Support Hotline 

National Flood Insurance Program policyholders, who have questions about their flood insurance policy or the claims process, and disaster survivors, who have general questions about the National Flood Insurance Program, can contact the Technical Support Hotline / Call Center by:

When calling, please have the following information available:

  • Contact information (name, telephone number or email address, if applicable)
  • Policy number
  • Name of flood insurance carrier
  • The nature of your request

This information will help the representative answer your questions quickly and efficiently.
Please see our fact sheet for more information about this technical support hotline.

Two other NFIP sites that may be helpful to you:

consumer information about flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program; and

FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) 

providing map specialists to support inquiries on how to find and read flood maps, preliminary flood hazard data, Letters of Map Change, Elevation Certificates, and the National Flood Hazard Layer.

Contact a Map Specialist:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Live in Bennington County? - Check the New Flood Map !

On December 2, 2015 the new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map will go into effect covering Bennington County, Vermont.  If you live in or near a floodplain you should check the map to see what level of risk has been identified for your building.

The Special Flood Hazard Areas (Zone A and AE) on the new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) can be viewed on the Flood Ready Atlas tinyurl.com/floodreadyatlas.   Choose "Flood Ready Tools" then "Zoom to Address" and "Toggle Flood Data On".

Special Flood Hazard Areas include areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding.  This is more than a 1 in 4 chance over the period of a 30 year mortgage.  Some parts of the mapped floodplain get flooded more frequently and are subject to high velocity flows.

The current FIRMs (made town by town) will expire in December.  They can be viewed online (as .pdfs) at the FEMA Map Service Center www.msc.fema.gov   You can make a small official FIRMette map and plot the location of your building from mapped road intersections.

Check the maps to determine if your building is at risk of damage from the base flood.   Federal law requires lenders to ensure that any mortgages or loans to buildings in the high risk SFHA have insurance to at least cover the mortgage, the value of the building, or the total amount available from the National Flood Insurance Program (whichever is lowest).

If your building was built before the first municipal Flood Insurance Rate Map (late 1970's), and your structure will become identified as being at high risk for the first time, you should learn about "grandfathering your flood zone".  To grandfather your flood zone you would need to buy a flood insurance policy before the map change and then maintain the policy going forward.  This would give you an opportunity to grandfather the lower risk / lower cost Zone X status on the basis of "continuity of coverage".

There will be public meetings in the fall to discuss flood insurance, grandfathering, and how to make buildings less vulnerable to damage and less costly to insure.

Bennington County has over 600 families as well as educational, government and critical facilities in the high risk flood zone.

Across the county (and the state) the Town of Bennington has the most structures in the Special Flood Hazard Area, around 480 (8% of all buildings in town).

Overall there seem to be around 450 buildings that may be indicated as in the high risk flood hazard area (Zone A, AE, AO) for the first time.  Approximately 350 have been newly identified as in the low to moderate risk Zone X.

The towns with the most structures that have been newly identified as at high risk include Bennington, Pownal, Arlington, Manchester and Dorset.

Watch for updates regarding insurance meetings in the fall.

Friday, March 27, 2015

ASFPM call for Award Nominations, Due 3/31

A recent announcement from the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM).  My understanding is that they are still looking for nominations:

Every year at our national conference, ASFPM bestows awards to deserving floodplain managers/programs/outreach activities.
Do you know of a state or local floodplain manager deserving of one of ASFPM's annual awards?

Every year at our national conference, we bestow awards to deserving floodplain managers/programs/outreach activities. We still need nominations for the Tom Lee State Award for Excellence, James Lee Witt Local Award for Excellence, and the Outreach/Media Award. Clickhttp://www.floods.org/index.asp… to learn about the award descriptions, and here http://www.floods.org/awardsform.asp for nomination instructions. Deadline is March 31.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Update on the new Federal Executive Order & Implementing Guidelines

A few weeks ago, we had posted information about the newly signed Federal Executive Order (EO) 13690 and the draft Federal guidelines that were released along with the EO.  Since that time, FEMA has posted more information about organized public listening sessions (all are located far away from us in Vermont) and about submitting public comments on the new Federal guidelines on implementing the new EO.

These new DRAFT guidelines, titled Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS), have an open public comment period until Monday April 6, 2015.  Comments can be submitted directly online through this website.  The public comment period is specifically intended for comments on the new FFRMS; the new EO has already been finalized.  We encourage individuals or organizations to participate in this process by providing comments and feedback on the draft FFRMS implementing guidelines.  Our understanding is that they are looking for both what people like about the new guidelines and what you may have suggestions on for improvement.  The last time the guidelines on Federal procedure & policy regarding floodplains were opened up for revision and update was back in the late 1970s, so this is an opportunity that doesn't come along often!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

New Federal Executive Order on Floodplains & a Federal Flood Risk Management Strategy

On January 30th, 2015, the President released a new Federal Executive Order regarding floodplains.  This new Executive Order (EO 13690) does not replace the existing Federal Executive Order 11988 (which dates back to the Carter Administration, effective 1977), but rather supplements 11988 in areas where the federal floodplain standards were lagging behind some of the existing state floodplain review standards.  Existing EO 11988 requires federal agencies to assess floodplain impacts when a federal action is taken within a federally-mapped floodplain.  Typically, federal agencies are tasked with ensuring the federal project is in compliance with minimum NFIP standards.

ASFPM has created a specific webpage for the new Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) that contains links to the various documents, as well as some background on the development of this new standard.  In addition, the implementation of the new EO and FFRMS has been reported about in the New York Times, as well as the Washington Post.

From the new EO 13690:

As part of a national policy on resilience and risk reduction consistent with my Climate Action Plan, the National Security Council staff coordinated an interagency effort to create a new flood risk reduction standard for federally funded projects. The views of Governors, mayors, and other stakeholders were solicited and considered as efforts were made to establish a new flood risk reduction standard for federally funded projects. The result of these efforts is the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (Standard), a flexible framework to increase resilience against flooding and help preserve the natural values of floodplains. Incorporating this Standard will ensure that agencies expand management from the current base flood level to a higher vertical elevation and corresponding horizontal floodplain to address current and future flood risk and ensure that projects funded with taxpayer dollars last as long as intended.

Key provisions of the new EO 13690 and the FFRMS, taken from FEMA's summary of the draft FFRMS Guidelines
The new federal flood risk standard requires all future federal investments in and affecting floodplains to meet the level of resilience as established by the Standard.  For example, this includes where federal funds are used to build new structures and facilities or to rebuild those that have been damaged.
The Standard specifically requires federal agencies to consider current and future risk when taxpayer dollars are used to build or rebuild floodplains.
In implementing the Standard, federal agencies will be given the flexibility to select one of three approaches for establishing the flood elevation and hazard area they use in siting, design, and construction:
  • Utilizing best-available, actionable data and methods that integrate current and future changes in flooding based on science,
  • Two or three feet of elevation, depending on the criticality of the building, above the 100-year, or 1%-annual-chance, flood elevation, or
  • 500-year, or 0.2%-annual-chance, flood elevation.

It is important to note that neither this new EO 13690 nor the existing EO 11988 change the local administration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or any state minimum standards.

A 60-day Public Comment period is now open for the Draft Federal Flood Risk Management Standard Implementing Guidelines (FFRMS) which was also released on 1/30/2015.  Individuals are encouraged to submit comments before April 6, 2015.  Here is a link to a FEMA Frequently Asked Questions page of the Draft FFRMS.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

FEMA's Introductory Floodplain Management Class to be Offered in Old Lyme, CT March 9-13

ASFPM is co-sponsoring the FEMA Emergency Management Institute(EMI) 273 course in Old Lyme, CT with FEMA Region I, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT-DEEP), and the Connecticut Association of Flood Managers (CAFM) in March. This course is designed to provide an organized training opportunity for local officials responsible for administering their local floodplain management ordinance. The course will focus on the NFIP and concepts of floodplain management, maps and studies, ordinance administration, and the relationship between floodplain management and flood insurance.

A separate (optional) CFM exam will be held on Friday, March 13th. Course attendance is NOT required to sit for the CFM exam. Please see details below for more information.

Lunch and break food/refreshments are available during the Monday - Thursday course for a small (optional) fee:
$25 / person AM & PM breaks, OR  
$80 / person for breaks & lunches 

Registration deadline: February 13, 2015. To register for the course, please follow instructions in the course flyer

Please contact Diane Ifkovic with questions about the course at diane.ifkovic@ct.gov or call 860-424-3537. 

273 Course
March 9-12, 2015
8:00AM - 5:00PM
Old Lyme, CT
12 CECs for CFMs
Cost: Course attendance is free, registration is required.

CFM Exam (optional)
Friday, Mar. 13, 2015

9:00AM -12:00PM
Old Lyme, CT
Course attendance is NOT required to sit for the exam.


Separate registration and fee required to sit for the CFM Exam. Exam applications and fee must be submitted to ASFPM not later than March 4, 2015 in order to sit for the exam on March 13th.
*CFM Exam is optional, separate registration and fee are required to sit for the CFM exam. NOTE: The 273 course is not a CFM Exam prep course; takers should not expect to pass the exam without additional study of materials found on the CFM Exam Preparation Guide.

Monday, January 26, 2015

New Videos for Community Leaders - Reducing Flood Damage

The Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) has released six short videos to help communities prepare for flooding.   These videos are featured on Flood Ready Vermont and compiled on the CRWC Preparing for Floods page.

The videos highlight steps that communities can take to reduce exposure to damage from flooding.

At Flood Ready Vermont the videos are posted as stories on Making It Happen and embedded in pages throughout the site.  

The productions by the Connecticut River Watershed Council strengthen a collaborative effort to build tools and support peer-to-peer communication for community leaders working on flood resilience.  CRWC was one of many organizations that participated in the design of Flood Ready Vermont.

The CRWC videos were shot and edited by Joe DeFelice of Riverbank Media, with financial support from the High Meadow Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation, and Jane's Trust.

The new videos include:
Finding the Right Mix - How the Town of Brandon is taking comprehensive steps to reduce damage from flooding.

Homeowner Buyouts and Elevating Homes - How community leaders are using FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants to reduce residential losses.

Better Culverts and Stream Crossings - Designing and implementing better culverts improves road reliability, culvert longevity and habitat functions.

Why Rivers Move and Erode - a demonstration of how channels move over time using a stream table.  
Stabilizing Stream Banks Naturally - placing root wads to support the reestablishment of bank vegetation and reduce erosion rates.

Lakefront Erosion Solutions - ways to reduce bank erosion from foot traffic and wave action.

Monday, January 19, 2015

CFM Exam scheduled for 2/11 in Montpelier, VT

We wanted to announce that a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) exam has been scheduled and confirmed for Wednesday, February 11th from 1pm-4pm located in Montpelier.    

What is the CFM program all about you may ask?  Here is a small excerpt from the ASFPM website about the Program:

The Association of State Floodplain Managers has established a national program for professional certification of floodplain managers. The program recognizes continuing education and professional development that enhance the knowledge and performance of local, state, federal, and private-sector floodplain managers.

The primary goal of the ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager Program (CFM Program) is to help reduce the nation's flood losses and protect and enhance the natural resources and functions of its floodplains by improving the knowledge and abilities of floodplain managers in the United States.  A second goal of the CFM Program is to increase the prominence of floodplain management in decision-making by local officials and the public.

Additional information regarding ASFPM and the CFM program can be found at ASFPM’s website or the CFM Program page: www.floods.org,  CFM page

General Exam Information:

The exam will be held at the central Agency of Natural Resource office located at 1 National Life Drive in Montpelier.  If you are interested, you are now able to register for this exam with the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) office.  All registration forms and ASFPM membership applications should be sent to the ASFPM office in Madison, WI. 

If you become a member of ASFPM for $130, the exam registration fee will only be $100 for a total fee of $230.  If you are not a member of ASFPM, then the cost to register for the exam is $450.  
If you are planning to become an ASFPM member and register for the exam at the same time, you should send the ASFPM membership form, the exam registration form and payment for both together for the ease of processing.

Please note that all exam registrations must be received by ASFPM no later than 2 weeks before the exam date.  This means that all registration forms need to be received by the ASFPM office no later than Wednesday, January 28th.  Otherwise, if your registration has not been received by that date, you will not be able to sit for the exam.  The CFM exam registration form and the ASFPM membership form can be found here.

Review Session:
We will also be offering an all-day review session before the exam on Tuesday, February 10th.   The review session will be held in the ANR offices at the National Life Building located in Montpelier. Please contact Rebecca Pfeiffer in advance if you intend to be at the review session so that we can be sure that there will be enough room and so we can determined which date works best for those interested in the review.

If you are interested in taking the exam but would not be ready to do so for this date, please contact Rebecca  so that your name will remain on our list of people to contact when we are planning another CFM exam in 2015. 

Other CFM exams may be offered in neighboring states.  More information about the exam can be found at the ASFPM website.

Please pass along the word to whomever else you think may be interested in sitting for the exam!

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Procedure and release of Statewide River Corridor Data!

It seems a little late into January to be saying this, but Happy New Year to all.  Last month, we had 2 big releases for Vermont Floodplain and River Corridor management:

In the beginning of December, we released our new Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor Protection Procedure which was a while in the making.  This new procedure has several purposes, but the main purpose is to document how the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) defines and maps river corridors for: the purpose of Act 250 & Section 248 proceedings, administering the state Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor Rule, and for the regulation of berming under the Stream Alteration rules.

As for the second big release, we are happy to announce the release of our Statewide River Corridor data online!  As you see in the purpose of the Procedure, VT Rivers Program has updated the methodology for mapping River Corridors. This change has come mostly because we have been working very hard over the past year and a half or so to create a statewide river corridor map that covers all Vermont streams with a drainage area of greater than 2 square miles.  At the end of last year, the first Statewide River Corridor map was released to the public for use and can be accessed on the VT ANR Natural Resource Atlas or at the Flood Ready Atlas.  At this time, the statewide map is an approximate river corridor map but we will be working to incorporate the many miles of field assessed data that has been collected throughout the state over the past many years.  Please refer to the River Corridors - Frequently Asked Questions page, as some of your question may be addressed there.

Something else that is new and on the horizon is the implementation of our Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor Rule.  The Rule was adopted this past fall and will go into effect on March 1, 2015.  We will be posting more information in the coming weeks about this roll out.  If you read the rule and our new procedure, you will see that the Procedure contains the background and technical information that support the new rule.

Please be aware that our new rule will apply only to development that is exempt from local municipal permitting, specifically:

  • State owned and operated facilities and properties;
  • farms and silvicultural properties that operate under the Accepted Agricultural Practices (AAPs) or Accepted Management Practices (AMPs which apply to protecting water quality on logging jobs); and
  • power-generating facilities or transmission facilities subject to Section 248 jurisdiction 
A public notice to announce the draft General Permit for the FHARC Rule is anticipated in the coming weeks.