The DNREC floodplain management program works to preserve public health, safety, and well-being and protect property by reducing flood hazard risks statewide.
David J. Warga, CFM
State Floodplain Manager
To accomplish this mission, the program works with agencies across all levels of government as well as the public to support risk-informed decision making.
Education and outreach programs: Offer training and guidance to stakeholders about flooding, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and community resiliency.
NFIP administration and support: Advance the development and function of state and local community floodplain management.
Technical assistance: Assist communities with technical aspects of floodplain administration and mitigation.
Mapping: Promote accurate and up-to-date floodplain mapping.
Research: Inform innovative flood risk analysis, management, and mitigation through research.
Mitigation: Provide assistance and facilitate access to available grant funding to mitigate flood risk.
Partnerships: Maintain and develop partnerships to further common goals.
Flooding is a year-round threat in Delaware. Just a few inches of rainfall can cause significant damage to homes and businesses. Some coastal areas are at risk of flooding caused by storm surges or tidal flooding during coastal storms.
Homeowners’ insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA maps floodplains in the United States as part of the National Flood Insurance Program. It uses these maps, called Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), to set flood insurance rates. DNREC’s Floodplain Management Program works with FEMA to improve the accuracy of Flood Insurance Rate Maps.
The floodplain management program is the state coordinating agency of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) assisting Delaware’s local jurisdictions and counties with the administration of their floodplain management ordinance requirements.
The program works to help communities enforce minimum floodplain management standards, in keeping with federal regulations. It promotes adoption of higher standards to reduce the risk of damage caused by flooding, to protect life and property and to ensure that all development in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is reasonably safe from flooding.
DNREC’s statewide floodplain management activities include:
The role of a Local Floodplain Administrator is to enforce minimum NFIP regulatory requirements and higher standards through an adopted floodplain management ordinance for all development activities within the mapped Special Flood Hazard Area for a jurisdiction participating in the National Flood Insurance Program.
Local Floodplain Administrator responsibilities include:
Communities and residents can take action to prepare for flood events and to lessen flood risk.
The Delaware Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards describes actions that homeowners can take to protect their properties from flooding.
The Delaware Silver Jackets is an interagency collaboration that allows for greater facilitation and communication regarding flood risk identification, risk communication, flood hazard mitigation, the promotion of sound floodplain management practices, and addressing other natural hazards that threaten Delaware.