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2005 Media Releases

June 2, 2005
For More Information Contact:
Dave Norris, Citizen Information Center, 441-7547
Nicole Fleck-Tooze, Public Works and Utilities, 441-7548

City, NRD Honored For Floodpalin Management

The City of Lincoln and the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (NRD) will receive the 2005 James Lee Witt Local Award for Excellence from the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) for the Flood Standards for New Growth Areas adopted last year, Mayor Coleen Seng announced today.

The Witt Award recognizes local programs for outstanding floodplain management. It is named after former FEMA Director James Lee Witt in recognition of his landmark efforts to support, enhance and encourage local floodplain management capabilities. The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) will present the award to the City Public Works and Utilities Department and the Lower Platte South NRD, at their 29th annual national conference in Madison, Wisconsin June 16.

The adoption of Flood Standards for New Growth Areas by the Lincoln City Council in 2004 followed more than a three-year public process and technical study effort, which was led by the NRD and City. This process included engineering and economic studies, as well as 18 months of work by a 16-member Citizen Task Force representing a broad cross-section of interests in the community.

The Flood Standards for New Growth Areas include the protection of flood conveyance, flood storage and natural buffers along stream channels, but the overriding policy goal is the concept of “No Adverse Impact” set by ASFPM. “No Adverse Impact” means that the action of one property owner does not adversely impact the flooding risk for other property owners, and it serves as the umbrella policy for the specific ordinances and standards adopted for Lincoln’s new growth areas.

The Witt Award recognizes the high-level of commitment by the City of Lincoln and the Lower Platte South NRD to implement a floodplain management program according to the principles of “No Adverse Impact.” Flood management in Lincoln also is supported by the development of detailed watershed master plans, which are being developed and implemented by the City and NRD. Together, the flood standards and master plans are expected to serve Lincoln well as it expands by a projected 35 square miles or more over the next 25 years.

ASFPM represents 7,000 floodplain management practitioners, including the leading experts in flood hazard management throughout the U.S. and beyond. Nearly every state in the U.S. will be represented, as well as a number of international agencies. Lincoln’s standards will fit well with this year’s theme: “No Adverse Impact: Partnering for Sustainable Floodplain Management.” The focus will be on techniques to mitigate against the effects of flooding before floodwaters rise, which is considered to be the most effective option to limit the effects of flooding.

Information regarding ASFPM and the Witt Award can be found at Information regarding the flood standards for new growth areas or the work of the Floodplain Task Force is available on the City of Lincoln website at

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