Recommendations for a National Levee Safety Program ...From the National Committee on Levee Safety

Strong Levee Safety Programs in All States


Recommendations for a National Levee Safety Program | Report to Congress | National Leadership | State Levee Safety Programs | Aligning Existing Federal Programs| Feedback on the National Levee Safety Program


Photo of Grand Forks, ND
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Photo of Susquehanna River at top of Floodwall. Binghamton, NY. 2006.
Susquehanna River at top of Floodwall. Binghamton, NY. 2006. Courtesy of NYSDEC.
Photo of Lupines on the levee.
Lupines on a Sacramento River levee in Sacramento, California.

There are levees in all 50 states, however the total number, location and condition of many of the nation's levees - as well as population and property they protect, and who is responsible for their operations and maintenance - remains unknown. Preliminary estimates indicate that there may be more than 100,000 miles of levees across the United States, and tens of millions of people live and work behind them.

The National Committee on Levee Safety contends that states, not the federal government, should have primary authority for implementation of a National Levee Safety Program within their borders, and a National Levee Safety Program will be more effective if states tailor their levee safety programs to meet local needs and allow for regional and state variations, while meeting national standards and objectives.

States are best positioned to organize, implement and oversee levee safety programs, as they have the combination of necessary legal authorities to implement rules, regulations and procedures, and statewide reach and relationships with local governments to be successful.

The NCLS recommends that the National Levee Safety Program assist states in developing effective levee safety programs, and that federal programs and funding should provide incentives to states that voluntarily meet established criteria for robust levee safety programs.

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View of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. August 2005.
View of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. August 2005.

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Test Your Levee IQ

What percentage of the approximately 15,000 miles of levees in US Army Corps of Engineers Levee Safety Program are operated and maintained by local sponsors?

  1. 10%
  2. 25%
  3. 65%
  4. 85%

Answers to this, and past, questions.