Examining the relationship between wetland alteration and watershed flooding in Texas and Florida
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- Brody, S.D., Highfield, W.E., Ryu, HC. et al. Nat Hazards (2007) 40: 413. doi:10.1007/s11069-006-9003-3
Inland flooding remains one of the greatest threats to the safety of human population in the United States (US). While few large-scale studies exist, the potential role of naturally occurring wetlands in mitigating flood duration and intensity has been widely discussed. This study examines the relationship between wetland alteration and coastal watershed flooding in Texas and Florida over a 12-year period. Specifically, we geo-reference wetland alteration permits required under Section 404 of the US Clean Water Act and correlate the number of granted permits with the degree of flooding measured by stream gauge data. Results indicate that specific types of federal permits exacerbate flooding events in coastal watersheds while controlling for various environmental and socioeconomic characteristics.