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Environment Flood control for citizen planners

There is no longer a citizen planners subforum. I guess this is the best place to post this?

There is a question in a different forum on the internet. A citizen in a small town impacted by Hurricane Harvey is wanting to get volunteers together and find out what can be done because the city isn't doing enough and yadda. He has fairly immediate concerns of more flooding in the near future.

I posted some links to things like the Mainstreet organization, the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance and EPA's Watershed Academy. I suggested some search terms etc.

And I have done some digging around and, among other things, pulled up the Wikipedia page on Flood Control. And I'm kind of appalled. It lists dams and canals and tide gates and yadda. These are major infrastructure that take mega bucks to build and lots of time.

I'm an Environmental Resource Management major (never completed the degree) because my thinking is you guild cities rooted in the existing natural environment, so you can't make a city that works if you have no idea how the natural world works. There have to be some low tech things that can be done by ordinary people to mitigate this.

I recently read this article about Sand Dams transforming the deserts in Africa. Different problem space, but the basic idea of what I think is possible.

I have, for example, read that mangroves make excellent coastal protection against some of the terrible stuff hurricanes do. (Linky that I have not yet read just to prove I am not imagining things.)

Of course, you can't plant mangrove trees NOW for little or no money and expect this to protect you next week. But that's kind of the type of thing I would like to find and start putting resources together -- If only as a hobby, even if it doesn't help this particular person.

Surely, there are fairly low cost, low tech, highly effective things that you can tell citizens to do to help mitigate the worst stuff, like "So plant mangrove trees on your property!" Or stuff that helps speed groundwater recharge to reduce overland runoff and clear the flood waters faster. That sort of thing. (This is potentially directly relevant to my actual life since I live at the confluence of two rivers close enough to the ocean that high tide and low tide impact water levels in town.)

Any idea what kind of sources I should be looking for? I mean I can't be the first human ever to have this thought.



I would start with the state NFIP coordinator for advice on flood control like JNA mentioned. They can't help with the political situation, but they have great advice.

Dams and levees are not the answer. You start with zoning controls that prevent development in floodplains add in an ordinance to maintain wetlands and green spaces that help dissipate flood waters and maybe get a good buy out program running.
There are some coastal things that can be done like dunes and man made wetlands, but I'm no expert at that. That's what the NFIP coordinator is for. The big thing is to realize you aren't going to stop the flood. You just give it a place to go that isn't in homes and businesses.
Once you have a group and a plan, go after the city and get it done. Just don't go screaming for a levee.
Thank you!

I still love you people and all of Cyburbia in a completely platonic kind of way. Squee!


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