Land Conservation Priorities in New Hampshire's Municipalities: A Non-Structural Approach to Flood Risk Management

Authors: Michal Zahorik*, University of New Hampshire, Catherine M. Ashcraft, University of New Hampshire
Topics: Land Use, Water Resources and Hydrology, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
Keywords: Flood Risk Management, Flood Mitigation, Land Conservation, Ecosystem-based Approaches, Agriculture
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Stones Throw 1 - Granite, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Hurricanes Irene and Sandy provide dramatic examples of New England's vulnerability to flooding and the region's aging and stressed flood infrastructure. Policy-makers and water managers are planning significant new investments and water infrastructure to manage floods but, recognizing the limits of the traditional flood defense approach, many want more resilient water systems. Several recent coastal vulnerability assessment projects have resulted in recommendations to New Hampshire's coastal communities to include flood risk management in municipal land conservation priorities, among other resiliency-oriented priorities. This research analyzes current municipal conservation priorities, how the priorities were developed, how the priorities are applied in practice, how they are ranked relative to one another, and changes over time. This research aims to contribute to ongoing state and local efforts to develop ecosystem-based approaches to managing flood risks, paying particular attention to impacts on and opportunities for working lands.

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