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Floodplain management: opportunies, challenges, and successes

The city of Napa, California, after a 1986 flood

The city of Napa, California, after a 1986 flood

An aerial view of Napa, California, following a catastrophic flood in February 1986. Over the next decade, community and federal agencies developed a plan for a “living river” that led to restoration of the Napa River, with the subsequent redevelopment of downtown Napa as a commercial district and entertainment destination. Based on their research, our IGERT students created models that would predict how restoration would affect habitat and also how restoration could provide flood protection to Napa’s business and citizens. By looking at the larger socio-ecological system, they developed new tools for restoration planning that could result in a more even distribution of benefits throughout the entire biophysical and social system.

Credits: County of Napa, California