Dam Safety, Coastal & Flood Protection
To protect people against loss of life and property from flood and dam failure, DEC is entrusted with the regulatory power over dams. The Department also provides technical support to local governments and owners of dams, and promotes floodplain management in communities across the state.
Dams are man-made barriers constructed to impound water. Dams are usually designed with timber, rock, concrete, earth, steel or a combination of these materials. The Department conducts technical reviews of proposed dam construction or modification, performs periodic safety inspection of dams, and works with communities on emergency preparedness. To prevent costly failure, DEC oversees dam maintenance, operation and repair, and monitors remedial work for compliance with dam safety criteria.
Flood Protection and Floodplain Management
The Department works with communities throughout the state in finding ways to reduce or protect against physical and property damage caused by flooding. The Department works on structural flood damage reduction projects to prevent flood waters from damaging communities, and also helps communities establish sustainable floodplain management programs to mitigate the potential for flooding. The Department works with communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program to administer local regulations and building standards for flood damage prevention.
Coastal Erosion and Flooding
Coastal erosion is a naturally occurring process that results in the loss or displacement of land along the coastline, continually changing natural protective features such as beaches, dunes, bluffs and nearshore areas.
Natural causes of erosion include waves, currents, tides, surface runoff, ground water, wind-driven water, waterborne ice, and storm surge. Unwise land use, development, and other activities can accelerate erosion of natural protective features incurring damage to public and private investment and natural habitat, and threatening human life and safety.
Coastal flooding is caused by ocean water rising above normal tidal elevation. Flooding occurs when strong winds and/or high tides drive ocean water inland through inlets, waterways, channels, and wetlands. When coastal flooding occurs, it is a temporary and sudden condition. Elevated storm surges and sudden inland penetration of surge waters can threaten human life, and can impact emergency response capabilities, community infrastructures and economies, and coastal ecosystems.
More about Dam Safety, Coastal & Flood Protection:
- Dam Safety - Statewide program responsible for dam safety inspections, technical review of proposed dam construction or modification, monitoring of remedial work for compliance with dam safety criteria and emergency preparedness
- What to Do After a Flood - Information for residents, communities and businesses on what to do after a flood, who to call, and what resources are available for recovery.
- Post-Flood Stream Reconstruction - Guidelines and training for municipalities, contractors and machine operators on how to reconstruct a stream after flooding.
- Floodplain Management - Statewide program which provides technical assistance to communities in the National Flood Insurance Program and coordinates remapping of floodplains
- Flood Protection Projects - Statewide program that oversees permitting, construction and rehabilitation of structural flood Control projects
- Coastal Management - The Section's programs manage the coast through the implementation of the Coastal Erosion Hazard Area Land-use Management Program and through Storm Damage Reduction Projects.
- Post-Storm Coastal Reconstruction - An overview of the permits, design guidelines and best management practices relevant to those who perform work in a coastal area following a storm.