The Flood Risk and Endangered Species Habitat (FRESH) web-based mapping tool empowers communities with the data necessary to integrate species conservation activities into their floodplain management programs.
The tool allows communities participating in the Community Rating System to visualize the ranges and designated critical habitats of species listed as threatened and endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). By centralizing floodplain and species data in one visual, FRESH reduces the burden on local officials tasked with making complex decisions about floodplain management and species conservation. FEMA collaborated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on this tool given their expertise in species conservation.
Access the Flood Risk and Endangered Species Habitat (FRESH) Map Tool
Features and Capabilities
FEMA beta-launched FRESH in spring 2019. In June-September 2019, FRESH underwent a 90-day user testing period with comments incorporated into the tool and user’s guide. FEMA continues reviewing FRESH to ensure accuracy as information provided in the data layers reflects the best available science. In future versions, FEMA plans to add functionalities, such as displaying a community’s current Community Rating System (CRS) credits.
Using FRESH, CRS communities can visualize the relationship between their regulatory floodplain and ranges of federally listed species and designated critical habitats. This can help inform local decisions that may affect activities in the floodplain. Communities that engage in species and habitat conservation activities through the NFIP’s CRS Program may benefit from NFIP premium discounts.
FRESH can help local decision-makers answer the following questions:
- What endangered and threatened species or designated critical habitat may be present within or near my community?
- How do important geographical features of my community – our floodplain, our open space, our land-use zones – overlap with the designated critical habitats and ranges of these species?
By using FRESH, the user acknowledges that this data represents a static "moment-in-time" data pull (from the date accessed), may be updated at points in the future and from authoritative federal sources (i.e., species ranges, Special Flood Hazard Layer boundaries).
Please email the FEMA FRESH team if you would like more information about FRESH or to provide comments.
For assistance with species maps, communities should review the USFWS Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC) or Regional USFWS or NMFS offices.