CRS Credits to Protect Habitat Overview

Connecting CRS and Habitat Conservation

CRS was created to encourage flood loss prevention and reduction activities in communities.  Those goals are also advanced by promoting natural floodplain functions.  As a result, the CRS recently expanded its credits to include such floodplain protection activities.  The CRS’s system of credit points now recognizes the tremendous value of the natural areas that border the nation’s rivers, lakes, and oceans.  FEMA recognizes that protecting natural functions also helps prevent and reduce flood losses.

 

 


Specific CRS Credits That May Be Used to Protect Habitat

The CRS Credit for Habitat Protection guidance is designed for local officials and others who work with the NFIP and apply its floodplain construction standards, but may not be familiar with the CRS and its benefits or with the ESA and its requirements. The guidebook reviews the many good floodplain management practices that can protect habitat and help reduce and prevent flood damage.

Three types of activities are listed here along with the relevant section in the CRS Coordinator’s Manual and other useful references. 

1.   Public information activities

2.   Mapping, Regulations and Open Space Preservation Activities

3.   Restoration activities


 

 

 1.   Public information activities

CRS 300 Series

  • Displaying maps of habitat, wetlands, and other natural areas deserving protection [Activity 320 (Map Information Service), Section 322.g]
  • Distributing messages about protecting habitat via newsletter articles, direct mailing, signs, brochures, and other outreach projects [Activity 330 (Outreach Projects), Sections 332.a and c]
  • Encouraging or requiring real estate agents and/or sellers to disclose both the flood hazard and the presence of protected species on properties offered for sale [Activity 340 (Hazard Disclosure), Sections 342.b and d]
  • Providing the public library with references on protecting listed species and their habitats [Activity 350 (Flood Protection Information), Sections 352.a and b]
  • Including information and links to sites with maps and information on listed species, and other natural resources on the community’s website [Activity 350 (Flood Protection Information), Section 352.c]

 

 

2.   Mapping, Regulations and Open Space Preservation Activities

MAPPING

CRS 400 Series

  • Mapping the regulatory floodplain and/or floodway based on future development conditions or other higher mapping standard [Activity 410 (Flood Hazard Mapping), Sections 412.a and d]
  • Mapping and regulating development in species’ habitat [Activity 430 (Higher Regulatory Standards), Section 432.o]
  • Incorporating species habitat or range maps into the community’s geographic information system for areas with natural floodplain functions (e.g., wetlands, designated riparian habitat) [Activity 440 (Flood Data Maintenance), Section 442.a(12)]

 

 

PRESERVATION

 

 

FLOODPLAIN REGULATIONS

  • Prohibiting fill in the floodplain [Activity 430 (Higher Regulatory Standards), Section 432.a(1)]
  • Prohibiting buildings in the floodplain [Activity 430 (Higher Regulatory Standards), Section 432.a(2)]
  • Minimizing the number of buildings built in the floodplain through low density zoning [Activity 420 (Open Space Preservation), Section 422.g]
  • Prohibiting hazardous materials in the floodplain [Activity 430 (Higher Regulatory Standards), Sections 432.a(3) and g]
  • Prohibiting new buildings in coastal erosion-prone areas [Activity 430 (Higher Regulatory Standards), Section 432.n]
  • Offering incentives to floodplain developers, such as transfer of development rights, to encourage them to preserve lands that provide natural floodplain functions [Activity 420 (Open Space Preservation), Section 422.f]

CRS 500 Series

  • Prohibiting dumping in streams, lakes, and riparian areas [Activity 540 (Drainage System Maintenance), Section 542.d]

 

 

WATERSHED REGULATIONS

  • Requiring or encouraging stormwater management practices that mirror natural systems, such as low impact development criteria [Activity 450 (Stormwater Management), Section 452.a(3)]
  • Adopting and implementing a watershed management plan that maximizes the use of natural systems, such as wetland storage [Activity 450 (Stormwater Management), Section 452.b]
  • Controlling erosion and sedimentation throughout the watershed [Activity 450 (Stormwater Management), Section 452.c]
  • Best management practices that protect water quality [Activity 450 (Stormwater Management), Section 452.d]

CRS 500 Series

  • Adopting drainage system maintenance procedures that protect natural floodplain functions [Activity 540 (Drainage System Maintenance), Section 542a and e]

 

 

3.   Restoration activities

CRS 500 Series

  • Adopting and implementing a comprehensive floodplain management plan that includes protection of natural floodplain functions [Activity 510 (Floodplain Management Planning), Section 512.a]
  • Adopting and implementing a habitat conservation plan or other site- or species-specific plan [Activity 510 (Floodplain Management Planning), Section 512.c]
  • Acquiring flood-prone properties and restoring the areas to their natural state [Activity 520 (Acquisition and Relocation), Section 522]