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2023 RIFMA Conference

The 2023 Annual Conference will be held Thursday, May 25th at the University of Rhode Island's Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences. Keep checking this page for new details to be added as we get closer to the conference.

If you have questions, please contact

Meet this year's conference speakers and presenters!
Thank you to our Sponsors!
RI Flood Mitigation Association 2023 Conference

Thursday, May 25, 2023 | 8:00 am-4:30 pm

University of Rhode Island

Theme: “Flooding, Public Perspective, and Disaster Reform” – as flooding intensifies, public perception shifts and drives policy change


  • Discuss the current state of floodplain management at the national, regional, and local levels (current events, new initiatives, updates, etc.)

  • Examine case studies of flood mitigation (lessons learned and best practices from projects and programs, etc.)

  • Identify mechanisms of financing flood resilience (e.g., grants, insurance benefits, leveraging resources)

  • Demonstrate efforts to adopt floodplain management regulations and legislation that exceed the minimums

  • Assess innovative technology, tools and techniques for the planning, design and development (and redevelopment) of resilient communities

  • Recognize effective outreach and engagement efforts that enhance awareness of flood resiliency and involve stakeholders in the decision-making process


8:00 am       Registration & Refreshments


8:50 am       Welcoming Remarks

Leah Feldman | Chair of the RI Flood Mitigation Association

9:00 am       Opening Remarks

Senator Whitehouse | Senior Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee


9:15 am        Charlotte County, FL: “Lessons Learned from Hurricane Ian”

Claire Jubb, AICP, CFM | Assistant County Administrator to Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners


10:00 am     Morning Break & Refreshments


10:20 am     Session 1


Track A - “Resilient Design and Implementation”


Tanyard Brook Culvert Replacement Project 

Nicole Iannuzzi, PE & Jay Cobleigh | BETA Group, Inc.

BETA presents their successful solution to a 4,500-foot culvert replacement, including a new culvert system incorporating green infrastructure design and Town-wide GIS incorporation for the Town of Bristol.

The Pocasset River Plan: Hybrid Design Approaches for a Resilient Urban Watershed

Andrea Judge, PE | Fuss & O’Neill, Inc.

Gina DiMarco | NRICD

This is the story of the Pocasset River Watershed project. Through innovative design and creative planning, a traditional grey infrastructure flood risk project is turning into a nature-based, resilient design which will be transformative for the six neighborhoods it stretches resulting in a resilient watershed and a resilient neighborhood.

Mitigating Flood Risks in an Inland Community: Canton, MA Case-Study

Courtney Eaton, PE & Kyle Johnson | Kleinfelder

The Town of Canton, MA identified inland flooding as their top priority climate hazard and embarked on a Flood Vulnerability and Mitigation study. The Town used this study as an opportunity to build a framework for including flood mitigation in the conversation of any major infrastructure project such as roadways and utility.

Track B - “Digital Tool Showcase”

Delineating High-Resolution Urban Drainage with Stormwater Infrastructure

Peter Steeves | USGS

Alana Spaetzel | Hydrologist, New England Water Science Center

A project-based review of the USGS StreamStats program. StreamStats is implemented at the statewide or watershed scale to delineate drainage areas, compute basin characteristics, and estimate flow statistics for user-selected locations on streams.

Deepening Public Understanding of Flood Risks through a Climate Change Vulnerability Index

Noah Slovin | SLR Consulting

The Connecticut Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) was developed by SLR Consulting in partnership with the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA). The project created a robust tool to help stakeholders and the public better understand how flood exposure interacts with sensitivity and adaptive capacity to create different levels of vulnerability and risk.

Rhode Island Coastal Hazard, Analysis, Modeling, and Prediction system (RI- CHAMP)

Kyle McElroy | University of Rhode Island

Modeling Systems (Coastal Flow)

Reza Hashemi | University of Rhode Island


12:00 pm      Lunch & Networking


12:45 pm      RIFMA Annual Membership Meeting

Annual Overview

Treasurer’s Report

1:05 pm       Transition

1:15 pm        Session 2


Track C - “Resilient Design and Implementation”

Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Planning Project

Matt Bellisle | Pare Corporation

This talk aims to highlight the flood resiliency needs within the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed and the factors that continue to exacerbate flooding problems in this watershed.  

Common Fence Point Project: Adapting to Coastal Change

Jeff Prater  & Nicole Gotovich | Common Fence Preparedness Committee

In 2018, a group of like-minded Common Fence Point (CFP) neighbors kicked off the CFP Preparedness Committee. This presentation details the execution of the grant entitled, "Restoring and Increasing Stewardship of Common Fence Point's Coastal Habitat”

Community Leadership in Action with WRWC’s New Voices/Nuevas Voces Program

Alicia Lehrer | Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council

Discussion of the development and results of New Voices/Nuevas Voces, an 8-month program that teaches residents living on the frontlines of climate change leadership and climate preparedness.

Track D - “Financing your Flood Mitigation Project”


NRCS-USDA Helps RI with Funding, Technical Assistance, and Finding Solutions for the Future as Climate Change Looms

Darrell Moore | NRCS

NRCS is focusing PL-566 and Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Programs to expand climate change mitigation efforts and apply NRCS conservation practices in Rhode Island. RI NRCS has three active EWP projects addressing Hurricane Ida flooding concerns affecting residents in Providence, Middletown and Narragansett, and three PL-566 Watershed Projects, as well as Preliminary Investigation Feasibility Reports for 8 other projects across RI.

Funding for Climate Resilient Projects to Benefit Your Community

Rae-Anne Culp | RI Emergency Management Agency

Because of climate change, many natural hazards are expected to become more frequent and more severe. There are funding opportunities that can help your community reduce these impacts and become more resilient.

Grant Funding for Watershed Implementation Projects

Tom Ardito & Ian Dombrowski | Southeast New England Program

This presentation introduces the Southeast New England Program (SNEP),a bi-state geographic program focused on the coastal habitats and waters of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, and to highlight funding opportunities of potential interest including discussion of the 2024 SWIG Program grant cycle.


2:00 pm          Afternoon Break, Refreshments & Student Poster Session


2:30 pm          Session 3


Track E - “Assessing Innovative Floodplain Management Technologies”

Using Hydrodynamic Separators Data to Evaluate Floodplain Management 

Ordinances and Climate Change Impact on Flooding Risk

Morgane Houssais | Clark University

A first attempt at calculating effective sediment transport through the sewage system in the City of Worcester, using the city data compilation from 29 hydrodynamics separators currently installed. Such assessment would participate in bettering the prevention and mitigation, locally and globally, of flooding impacts in urban areas.

Fragility Analysis of Dunes Reinforced with Geosynthetic Sand Containers 

Christopher Baxter | URI

This presentation describes a fragility analysis of the U.S. Federally funded GSC-reinforced dune in Montauk, NY to quantify the resiliency of reinforced coastal systems. The methodology developed for this fragility analysis can be used to better inform all stakeholders about the benefits and drawbacks of adaptive, nature-based coastal protection systems.

Challenges in Global Flood Modeling and Mitigation

Alain Dib | FM Global


Track F - “Navigating Federal Programs”

Integrating CRS into a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan – Improving the Engagement Process: A Case Study using the Town of Westerly 2023 Hazard Mitigation & Flood Management Plan 

Kim Jacobs, Civil Engineer & Resilience Planning Consultant | Kim Jacobs 


Alyse Oziolor, Principal Planner | Town of Westerly

The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary program incentivizing communities to go beyond the minimum National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements by offering a reduction in the NFIP flood insurance premiums paid by property owners/residents in the municipality. The presentation will identify lessons learned and best practices, and how the CRS planning process effectively integrates and improves local government, community, and stakeholder engagement. 

Benefit-Cost Analysis 101: Using FEMA BCA Toolkit

Bin Wang | GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc.

This presentation will provide a high-level introductory overview of the FEMA BCA methodology and BCA toolkit; share project experiences in assembling key input parameters and steps, by using the FEMA BCA Toolkit (version 6.0); and share one or two case (example) studies to demonstrate how BCA works in the decision-making process.


FFRMS - A New Approach to Flood Resilience

Katie Rand | FEMA Region 1

The Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) was authorized by Executive Order to address future and current flood risk and to ensure projects funded by taxpayer dollars are resilient. This presentation will outline the goals of FFRMS and the evolving status of its implementation at FEMA and beyond.


3:15 pm            Closing Remarks

Leah Feldman | Chair of the RI Flood Mitigation Association


3:30 pm            Happy Hour

Student Poster Competition Results

Board Photo

Click here for Abstracts

Click here for Speaker biographies

Become a RIFMA 2023 Annual Conference Sponsor/Exhibitor

Being a sponsor or exhibitor is a great opportunity for you to promote your company or organization to Rhode Island's floodplain and stormwater managers, hazard mitigation experts, public officials, representatives, researchers, engineers, planners, and designers along with other industry professionals.


$1,500 River Sponsorship

Includes lunch sponsorship, 3 RIFMA memberships and conference registrations, company name/logo on conference agenda, and exhibitor booth space.

$1,000 Stream Sponsorship

Includes breakfast sponsorship, 2 RIFMA memberships and conference registrations, company name/logo on conference agenda, and exhibitor booth space.

$750 Tidal Sponsorship

Includes networking break sponsorship, 1 RIFMA membership and conference registration, company name/logo on conference agenda, and exhibitor booth space.

Wave Exhibitor
Non-profit/Government ($100)
Private ($500)

1 conference registration, exhibitor booth space

Booth Space

The booth space will be assigned prior to your arrival; please

check in at the Conference Registration table when you arrive.

You will be provided with a standard 6-foot rectangular table

and 2 chairs (please supply your own tablecloth). Please let

us know in advance if you have any specific needs such as a

nearby electrical outlet.


The event starts at 8:00 am with light refreshments. You are

welcome to start unloading at 7:30 am. You may break down

your display when the conference concludes at 4:30 pm.


Please email your logo to no later

than April 28, 2023

Additional Information

During conference afternoon breaks we are requesting that

Sponsors and Exhibitors are present at their booth spaces.

Please plan to offer something that will draw attendees. During

our happy hour event, please use that time to draw attendees

together and search for networking opportunities!

If you have something to donate for a prize drawing at the end

of the conference, that would be greatly appreciated!

Payment Information

Payment may be made via PayPal ( or check, make checks payable to RI Flood Mitigation Association and mail payments to:


RI Flood Mitigation Association

 P.O. Box 14235 

East Providence, RI 02914

Call for student poster abstracts

Click Here to Submit Abstract

For more information please contact us at

2023 RIFMA Conference

The Rhode Island Flood Mitigation (RIFMA) will hold its Annual Conference on Thursday, May 25th.  This year’s theme is TBD.  The 2023 Conference Committee cordially welcomes your student poster abstract submissions for review.

Student Poster Abstract Submission

Posters allow presenters to discuss their research, designs, or tools with professionals in floodplain management.  The RIFMA Annual Conference brings together nearly 200 attendees from a broad range of professions to address the many issues associated with managing flood risk, making communities more sustainable, and protecting floodplains and fragile natural resources.  Posters should contribute to the theme of floodplain management and resilience.  Poster may share findings from field investigations, modeling, public outreach or other research topics.  Posters will be on display in the main reception area from 8:30 AM through 4:30 PM.

All selected poster presenters must register for the conference

(at a rate of $25 until May 12th and $35 thereafter)

Important Dates & Information:

Abstract Submission Deadline: Friday April 7, 2023

Notification of Acceptance: Friday, April 14, 2023

Set-up and Presentation of Poster: Thursday, May 25th, 2023

8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

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