Flood Mitigation Efforts
Interstate Flood Mitigation Task Force
Multi-Jurisdictional Flood Mitigation Plan For The Non-Tidal N.J. Section of the DRB
Interstate Flood Mitigation Task Force

In September 2004, April 2005, and June 2006, three major floods caused devastation along the main stem Delaware River.

Recognizing that reducing flood loss is a responsibility shared by federal, interstate, state, and local governments throughout the basin, the governors of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania cosigned a September 2006 letter (pdf 400 KB) in which they wrote:

"Individually, the Basin states can move forward with policies and regulations to reduce and mitigate the impacts of flooding, but we believe that through coordinated effort on a regional basis, we can do more to reduce flood loss within the Basin than we could accomplish acting separately, on our own. The Delaware River Basin Commission is the obvious vehicle for developing flood loss reduction and flood mitigation plans that cannot be accomplished by any single state or local government but that require a holistic, watershed approach. As much as any time since the Commission was created in 1961, now seems an appropriate moment for coordinated action through the DRBC."

The September 2006 letter from the four governors directed DRBC staff to convene an interstate task force to develop a set of recommended measures for mitigating and alleviating flooding impacts along the Delaware and its tributaries. In July 2007, the Delaware River Basin Interstate Flood Mitigation Task Force forwarded to the four basin state governors its action agenda for a more proactive, sustainable, and systematic approach to flood damage reduction. The final report with 45 consensus recommendations addressed six management areas: flood warning, reservoir operations, floodplain regulation, floodplain mapping, structural and non-structural mitigation, and stormwater management.

July 2007 Task Force Final Report/Action Agenda

December 2009 Task Force Post-Report Meeting

The DRB Interstate Flood Mitigation Task Force met on December 15, 2009 at the Hunterdon County Complex in Flemington, N.J. to discuss implementation progress on several Task Force recommendations highlighted in its final report. Presentations were given on flood warning improvement recommendations, flood analysis model results, and floodplain management recommendations.

Multi-Jurisdictional Flood Mitigation Plan For The Non-Tidal N.J. Section of the DRB

One of the six priority management areas identified in the Interstate Flood Mitigation Task Force Report was structural and non-structural mitigation measures. Two of the nine specific recommendations in this management area included:

  • Provide training for local officials to maximize use of available mitigation funding; and
  • Evaluate and coordinate flood mitigation plans and strategies

Thanks to a grant awarded by FEMA in 2006, DRBC partnered with the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection and the state’s Office of Emergency Management to develop a multi-jurisdictional flood mitigation plan for 43 New Jersey municipalities located in Hunterdon, Mercer, Sussex and Warren counties in the DRB. This plan, which was approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in a letter dated November 7, 2008, contains over 160 locally developed mitigation actions that, if implemented, could reduce future flood loss.

The main purposes of this flood mitigation planning effort were to help participating communities become more disaster resistant by reducing the long-term risks from flooding and to enable them to become eligible to compete for FEMA funding aimed at flood mitigation. The plan is unique in that while it will meet the flood mitigation plan requirements of each municipality, it also will employ a watershed management approach to ensure that final mitigation actions address both local jurisdictional needs and regional, multi-jurisdictional needs.

November 2008 Final Plan

Background Information