Flood Resiliency: Evaluating Flood Hazard Identification Tools in Two Lake Champlain Basin Sub-watersheds

Project Lead: University of Vermont - Lake Champlain Sea Grant – Breck Bowden
Partners: University of Vermont - Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
Geographic Scope: Chittenden County, VT and Essex County, NY

Many towns in the Lake Champlain Basin use FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS) to control development in vulnerable locations. However, these maps do not indicate erosion flooding risks, which are a more common hazard in this region. To address this gap, flood information from the past 50 years will be used to compare the frequency of impacts of three different flood hazard mapping methods: FIRMS, NRCS Floodable soils layers, and FEH zones.  Following this analysis, current river corridor zoning regulations will be evaluated in two Lake Champlain Basin rivers (Ausable River, NY and Winooski River, VT) to highlight the areas at increased risk for future flooding.