Strategies and an Action Plan for Protecting and Restoring Wetland and Floodplain Functions

Mark Biddle, David Fowler, Andrew Robertson, Del Schwalls, Schwalls, Eileen Shader, Marla Stelk
Posted on: 3/14/2023 - Updated on: 3/14/2023

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The Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance (NFFA) and the Wetland Mapping Consortium (WMC) developed and hosted a series of workshops focused on identifying barriers and opportunities for formulating a new national strategy that would enable greater protection and restoration of floodplains, including the wetlands within them, and the beneficial functions they provide. This report compiles the findings of these workshops and provides an action plan to protect and restore wetland and floodplain functions in the United States.

The strategies and recommendations are intended to provide a launching pad to reignite federal leadership and support for a unified national program and action plan for protecting and restoring the natural and beneficial functions of wetlands and floodplains. The goal is to support greater climate resiliency and, in turn, safer and healthier communities for all Americans.

The Federal Interagency Floodplain Management Task Force (FIFM-TF) was established in 1975 within the U.S. Water Resources Council to carry out the responsibility of the president to prepare for Congress proposals necessary for a Unified National Program for Floodplain Management. Yet here we are today, still existing in a vacuum devoid of any unified national strategy or agenda. There are serious consequences for our inaction, as seen in the billions of dollars lost in built capital and thousands of lives lost due to the direct removal of floodplain capacity and functions, compounded by the increasing intensity and frequency of hurricanes, storm surge, and floods from a rapidly changing climate.

In recognition of this, a group of scientists, policy analysts, and academics from the nonprofit, academic, government, and private sectors came together to develop a series of workshops with the goal of reigniting interest in launching a national strategy and action plan for the protection and restoration of wetland and floodplain functions.


Biddle, M., Fowler, D., Robertson, A., Schwalls, D., Shader, E., Stelk, M. (2022). Strategies and an Action Plan for Protecting & Restoring Wetland and Floodplain Functions. National Association of Wetland Managers, Portland, ME.….

Affiliated Organizations

Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance, Wetland Mapping Consortium