Flood Plain Management


Technical assistance

To help local governments implement their local floodplain management programs, Ecology offers the following services:

  • Flood hazard mapping assistance to individuals, communities, businesses, consultants, academic, and non-profit organizations.
  • Providing Model Flood Plain Management Ordinances in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  • Training to communities for managing local flood hazards through Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plans, including a guidebook for local governments preparing Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plans. The book outlines a step-by-step public process to identify and analyze flood problems, design strategies to solve the problems, and locate funds to implement hazard reduction plans.
  • Flood hazard planning and grant assistance to communities with adopted flood mitigation strategies and plans.
  • Assistance through flood grants and response contracts.
  • Assistance to local governments and citizens on complying with the state floodway prohibition. Washington prohibits the construction of new residences and substantially improving existing residences within a floodway.
  • Assisting local governments in complying with the standards expressed in the National Marine Fisheries Service NFIP Biological Opinion.

Floodplain specialists at Ecology’s headquarters in Lacey and in its regional offices in Bellevue, Lacey, Spokane and Yakima work closely with local, state, and federal officials to assess flood damage.

When flood disasters are declared, flood plain specialists join forces with state and federal emergency management agencies at joint disaster field offices across the state to collect damage and flood information – and recommend where flood-response equipment and materials should be placed.

Flood plain specialists also work closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local emergency management officials to assess flood maps, storm damage, and flood control structures such as dikes and levees to help prepare requests for federal and state flood disaster assistance.

Ecology flood plain specialists conduct damage assessments by land and by air after a flood.

For more information, please see the fact sheet about Ecology's Flood Plain Management activities and support.