Possible Points: 100 points for the element.

Learn from the experiences of a community that was successful in earning credit for this CRS element! Check out the Success Story for Collier County, FL.

Purpose of the element: The purpose of this element is to reward communities that develop and implement a plan which protects one or more of the natural functions of the floodplain. These plans are critical to communities because they can help to guide future development away from at-risk areas and ensure that areas that provide natural floodplain functions are protected. For more information, see pages 510-35 - 510-36 of the CRS Coordinator’s Manual.

Impact Adjustment: None.

Potential to Double Count Credit: Yes. Areas that are included in a creditable natural floodplain functions plan and are preserved in their natural condition are eligible for bonus points under element 422.c. Natural Functions Open Space (NFOS). Specifically, up to 50 bonus points can be earned if areas credited under NFOS are in a designated natural floodplain functions protection plan.

Degree of Difficulty - Documentation: Low. In order to take credit for this element, communities must provide their ISO/CRS Specialist with a copy of their current natural floodplain functions plan and the resolution or other formal document officially adopting the plan.

Degree of Difficulty - Implementation: Medium. Communities that do not already have a plan of this nature in place would likely need to hire a contractor with specialized expertise due to its detailed nature. For example, this element requires the community to create an inventory of all the species and natural floodplain functions within the special flood hazard area as well as a strategy for how to protect them in the future.

Tip for Success:

  1. Collier County, FL noted that teamwork was essential to their success with this CRS element. Specifically, they recommended that communities develop excellent internal communication and ask other departments for assistance in their areas of expertise.

Co-Benefits Associated with this Element: Through the creation of a natural floodplain functions plan, communities are provided with the opportunity to identify areas within the special flood hazard area to preserve or restore due to their benefits to endangered species and the environment, and to develop a strategy for protecting these areas in the future. Protecting areas that provide natural floodplain functions can also increase opportunities for infiltration especially in urban areas and reduce the amount of sediments reaching water bodies by slowing down the velocity of the water as it travels overland.