Flood Insurance Extension a ‘Missed Opportunity’ to Reform Critical Program

Washington, DC — The National Wildlife Federation urged lawmakers to use the next four months to deliberate and pass long-overdue reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program after lawmakers today extended the existing program through November. The extension does not include any reforms aimed at discouraging development in ecologically sensitive areas or critical coastal wildlife habitat, or increasing the program’s financial sustainability.

“Flooding is one of the most common and destructive disasters Americans face today. Instead of strengthening and reforming the National Flood Insurance Program, Congress has punted again on improving protections for homeowners, safeguarding ecologically sensitive areas and stewarding taxpayer dollars until late November,” said Laura Daniel Davis, the National Wildlife Federation’s Vice President of Conservation Strategy. “Congress should make the best of this missed opportunity by finding common ground to pass overdue reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program.”

The National Flood Insurance Program must be reauthorized and improved to include the a series of vital reforms:

  • Invest in and encourage community-wide, nature-based mitigation — such as restoration of protective wetlands and riparian corridors, or installation of living shorelines — to reduce risk and therefore reduce premiums. Nature-based mitigation also has unique co-benefits, including improved habitat for wildlife and increased recreational opportunities
  • Continue to move toward insurance rates that reflect true risk and create incentives for floodplain and natural resource protection instead of construction in flood-prone areas
  • Encourage and utilize state-of-the-art risk analysis and accurate floodplain mapping
  • Ensure consumers have choice and can purchase more affordable private policies

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