Federal Executive Order on Floodplain Management
Executive Order (EO) 11988-Floodplain Management was signed by President Carter in 1977. Since the floods of 1993 it often has been suggested that the EO needs to be updated to reinforce the importance of floodplain management in federal policy and to make some minor adjustments to reflect contemporary issues that have a bearing on management of floodprone areas. The huge losses from flood disasters in the last 20 years have punctuated the need for federal leadership to reduce the nation's exposure to preventable flood risk.
From our point of view, one of the most important aspects of the Executive Order update is the fundamental paradigm shift in how we thought about floodplains - the science of identifying them, the dynamic characteristics of them, and the evolving concept of flood risk and that flood risk increases as development increases the consequences of flooding. A number of key factors have changed since the 1977 EO was written. Not only does technology allow us to more quickly and accurately determine impacts of actions, but it is now clear that watershed development and climate change can exacerbate those actions. Flood damages continue to increase in the nation and floodplain resources continue to be lost. We need to do more to turn this around.
ASFPM letter of Support to Update EO 11988 (2/11/10)
Background on EO 11988 (2/11/10)
Executive Order 11988 (5/24/77)