Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, October 26, 2017

Contact: Jaclyn Lopez, (727) 490-9190,

FEMA Flood Insurance Proposal Ignores Sea-level Rise

WASHINGTON— The Federal Emergency Management Agency released proposed guidelines today for the National Flood Insurance Program that ignore the increasing risks of sea-level rise.

FEMA acknowledged flood risks will “expand to new areas along the coast and coastal waterways,” but failed to incorporate the information into its proposal. FEMA also concluded that the program — which guides development in flood zones — would not affect the nation’s most imperiled species living in coastal and low-lying areas.

“This climate-change denying insurance proposal will encourage people to continue building in areas likely to be flooded by hurricane surges and sea-level rise,” said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma should be the wake-up call to all Americans that we can’t ignore climate change anymore and must take immediate, common sense steps to protect our future.”

FEMA is responsible for developing comprehensive criteria for land use and management that restricts development of land exposed to flood risk. Communities can voluntarily participate in the National Flood Insurance Program, adopting land use and control measures to obtain lower-cost flood insurance.

“The overarching purpose of this program is to keep development out of flood prone areas but this continues to be ignored putting people and wildlife at increased risk,” said Lopez.

Today’s proposal, which culminates a multiyear review of the program, could be adopted by year’s end. Learn more about the Center’s sea-level rise campaign.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.5 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

More press releases