On Thursday, January 25th, the Wisconsin State Assembly is scheduled to vote on Senate Bill (SB) 222, creating a state-directed Pre-disaster Flood Resilience Grant! This legislation is relevant to wetlands because it recognizes the important role that healthy wetlands, streams, and floodplains play in reducing flood risks.
SB 222 will help Wisconsin’s most flood-prone communities identify and address the root causes of flooding by enabling assessment and implementation grants.
- Assessment grants enable gathering vulnerability data at the watershed, catchment, or stream-reach scale to understand how water is flowing and contributing to flood risks.
- Implementation grants enable hydrologic restoration projects that re-establish the natural capacity of wetlands, streams, and floodplains to reduce flooding and erosion and protect vulnerable infrastructure.
Please ask your State Representative to vote in favor of SB 222 on the Assembly Floor on January 25th. To find your legislators, use the Who Are My Legislators webpage and enter your address in the upper right-hand box.
When communicating with your legislator, key points to emphasize about the proposed program include:
- Necessary: Flooding is Wisconsin’s most costly disaster, with damages estimated at $365 million over the last ten years.
- Proactive: Breaks the cycle of post-disaster response and empowers local communities to address flood vulnerabilities before flooding events occur.
- Targeted: Prioritizes work in Wisconsin’s most flood-prone communities.
- Innovative: Enables hydrology-based assessment and restoration as an essential and cost-effective flood-risk reduction strategy.
- Accountable: Lessons learned from funded projects can be used to improve flood risk reduction strategies in other communities.
- Widely supported: Has over 30 legislative cosponsors and the backing of more than 20 organizations. It passed the Senate unanimously and $2 million was allocated to the program in the 2023-25 state budget.
This legislation is WWA’s top priority this legislative session. We appreciate State Representative Loren Oldenburg and State Senator Romaine Quinn for their leadership and collaboration on this proposal.
Please feel free to share your communication or legislative responses with WWA’s Policy Liaison, Jennifer Western Hauser. This can be helpful as we continue our advocacy at the State Capitol.
Bill supporting wetland restoration for flood resilience introduced at the WI State Capitol
Wisconsin Towns Assocation Guest Column: Pre-Disaster Flood Resilience Bill
New Hydrologic Restoration General Permit unveiled