Main Content


The purpose of this page is to define erosion, a commonly used term in floodplain management.


The process of the gradual wearing away of land masses. Erosion can occur along coasts and rivers and streams. Although flood-related erosion is covered by flood insurance, this peril is not covered per se under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The mapping and regulatory standards of the NFIP do not currently address erosion, but Community Rating System (CRS) credit is given to communities that include this hazard in their regulations, planning, public information, hazard disclosure, and flood warning programs. Many States and communities have established setbacks and other requirements in areas subject to erosion.

NFIP Requirement

59.1 Definitions


IS-9 Managing Floodplain Development Through The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) (Pages 6-25, 6- 26)

Coastal Construction Manual (FEMA 55)

  • Section 7.5
  • Section 3.3.3

Related Keywords

Special Topic Resources

CRS Credit for Higher Regulatory Standards - Special Hazards Regulation

60.0 - Criteria for Land Management and Use

  • 60.5  Floodplain management criteria for flood-related erosion-prone areas
  • 60.24  Planning considerations for flood-related erosion-prone areas

Supplemental Information

In flood-prone coastal areas subject to long-term erosion, flood hazard zones shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) may not accurately reflect current flood hazards due to the dynamic nature of the nearshore environment. As erosion occurs, flood hazards typically migrate inland. Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) may increase and additional areas may become subject to wave action.

Last Updated: 
08/02/2019 - 15:51