Event Title

The FEMA BiOp - Underutilized Potential for Shoreline Protection

Presentation Abstract

In 2008 the US National Marine Fisheries Service issued a Biological Opinion establishing that, because it allows or encourages floodplain and shoreline development, the flood insurance program operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Puget Sound would likely jeopardize the existence of Chinook salmon, southern resident killer whales, and other species listed under the Endangered Species Act. The so-called FEMA BiOp has stringent requirements for protecting habitat, in both freshwater and marine shorelines, but does not have many of the exemptions common to state and local regulations. Because FEMA has little enforcement capability, local jurisdictions are expected to implement the BiOp as a condition of a continuing flood insurance program. The complex BiOp requirements are applied unevenly by many local governments. Full implementation of the BiOp would advance marine and freshwater shoreline protections substantially. A history of BiOp implementation and examples from the Skagit and Whidbey basins are presented.

Session Title

Protecting Natural Shoreline Functions with Existing Regulations and New Approaches

Conference Track

Shorelines

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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The FEMA BiOp - Underutilized Potential for Shoreline Protection

2016SSEC

In 2008 the US National Marine Fisheries Service issued a Biological Opinion establishing that, because it allows or encourages floodplain and shoreline development, the flood insurance program operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Puget Sound would likely jeopardize the existence of Chinook salmon, southern resident killer whales, and other species listed under the Endangered Species Act. The so-called FEMA BiOp has stringent requirements for protecting habitat, in both freshwater and marine shorelines, but does not have many of the exemptions common to state and local regulations. Because FEMA has little enforcement capability, local jurisdictions are expected to implement the BiOp as a condition of a continuing flood insurance program. The complex BiOp requirements are applied unevenly by many local governments. Full implementation of the BiOp would advance marine and freshwater shoreline protections substantially. A history of BiOp implementation and examples from the Skagit and Whidbey basins are presented.