SALEM, Wash. -- Next week's week-long national floodplain management conference in Portland serves as the perfect backdrop for a series of landmark events designed to build more sustainable and disaster-resistant communities. According to FEMA Regional Director David L. de Courcy, the Association of State Floodplain Managers' 23rd Annual Conference helps showcase Oregon's 1999 Project Impact communities, introduces the Willamette Restoration Initiative into the American Heritage Rivers Initiative, and underscores Oregon's sustained commitment to reducing disaster damage.
"FEMA Director James Lee Witt introduced the new 'Project Impact,' initiative in 1997 with seven pilot communities. It has since grown to include 118 cities, counties, and boroughs throughout the nation, and next week he'll personally participate in the official signing ceremonies for Tillamook and Benton counties," said de Courcy.
"Director Witt will also be joining Governor Kitzhaber in Salem as Oregon's Willamette River Initiative joins the Administration's American Heritage Rivers Initiative, and addressing the ASFPM Annual Conference (Reducing Flood Risk/Flood Losses in the 21st Century) plenary session. We can't stop natural hazards from threatening our citizens, but we can try to stop them from becoming disasters, and that's where Oregon is heading."