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Floodplain Management

Protecting and preserving the environment around us is not only important but vital. That’s why Mile High Flood District works hard to maintain watershed planning, floodplain management, and improvement activities on approximately 1,600 square miles of the Denver Metropolitan area.

With ongoing maintenance of stream corridors being essential to long-term stream health, we also work with 39 local government partners through our Maintenance Eligibility Program. This program guides stream improvements on private land development projects and encourages floodplain preservation and restoration through thoughtful land development.

Families Enjoying Public River Surf Park

Creating Open Space by Preserving Urban Streams

In addition to being a beautiful component of our landscapes, urban streams serve many critical roles within a community. In fact, urban streams help us create and preserve recreational open space areas by:

  • Transporting floodwaters downstream during a storm.
  • Providing a variety of trail systems due to their linear nature.
  • Giving people the opportunity to connect with nature and wildlife.

Stream Corridors Information

Outside of helping to create beautiful open space, the environmental importance of stream corridors and riparian zones (the areas bordering rivers and other bodies of water) is immense.

Unfortunately, agricultural and land development activities have resulted in loss or significant degradation of 75–95% of this invaluable habitat. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

At Mile High Flood District, we help local governments guide smart development in their communities and recognize the value of preserving the floodplain, wetland, and riparian areas in an ever urbanizing environment. Our approach to stream management with smart development encourages:

  • Preservation of the floodplain and riparian systems to the greatest extent possible.
  • The restoration of degraded and damaged stream systems.
  • Mitigation of the effects of watershed urbanization with functional steam stability techniques.

80% of all wildlife species in this region of the country are dependent upon riparian areas for at least part of their life cycles.1 Preserving a proper stream corridor has the potential to increase property values while enhancing the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains.

1Congressional Testimony of Robert Wayland, EPA, June 26, 1997

Arial waterway

The Functions of Floodplains

During a flood, the low banks next to streams serve an important role in controlling the water flow and filtering out sediment and debris. What’s more, these floodplains have many natural and beneficial functions such as:

  • Slow the flow of floodwater and reduce damages and erosion.
  • Increased soil fertility and natural replenishment of nutrients.
  • Improved water quality and quantity.
  • Enhanced breeding and feeding grounds for fish and wildlife.

As an advocate for floodplain preservation, Mile High Flood District encourages the development of stream corridors through multi-use preservation and restoration projects that enhance stream corridor function.

Important Projects in Your Own Backyard

Discover development, construction, mitigation, and debris management projects in your area.

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