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National Levee Safety

These web pages present a history of the work of the National Committee on Levee Safety, including a record of meetings, workshops, information sessions, and testimony before Congress.

National Leadership

Responsibility for levee safety is distributed across all levels of government — local, state and federal — and across different agencies at each level. While different levels of government have important roles to play in levee safety, this diffused responsibility can impede the development of comprehensive and consistent levee safety programs and policies.

The National Committee on Levee Safety (NCLS) recommends that Congress establish the National Levee Safety Program, led by an independent National Levee Safety Commission, to effectively address levee safety across the country. The NCLS determined the following characteristics of a National Levee Safety Commission to be essential:

  • Independence to address levee safety holistically, unconstrained by the momentum and priorities of existing programs, with the ability to make politically challenging decisions when necessary;
  • Leadership for significant horizontal integration of effort across federal agencies and alignment of their programs, with vertical integration to achieve balanced participation at all levels of government; and
  • Organizational capabilities spanning regulatory policy development, program implementation, oversight and grants management; and significant experience in the relevant technical, public communication and environmental areas.
  • Status of Recommendations related to National Leadership (Updated, July 2011) (pdf, 405 KB)
  • Feedback on Recommendations related to National Leadership

For More Information

Photo of rising waters in Illinois
IL, April 15, 2011 -- Flood Insurance: The Best Defense Against Rising Waters. Photo: Mike Moore/FEMA.