PHRC Webinars

Restoring Floodplains to Manage Stormwater [Archive]

11/10/2020 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Instructor: Ben Ehrhart (LandStudies, Inc.), Len Bradley (RGS Associates)


Link to Webinar:


Throughout the country, engineers and developers are facing the same challenge; balancing project development needs while meeting the stormwater management requirements. Over the past few decades, stormwater management requirements have become more complex as flooding, drought, and ecological damage to watersheds have become more apparent. Although there are regional nuances, stormwater management goals can be generalized into three main categories: volume control, rate control, and water quality. These three general goals dictate the types of stormwater management Best Management Practices (BMPs), i.e. stormwater facility types, which are required for any given project. Traditional BMPs can assist in addressing the direct regulatory impacts of a development, but do little to address the regional water quality and peak mitigation goals of the larger scale watershed. Floodplain restoration provides an alternative to traditional BMPs.

Floodplain restoration not only mitigates the development’s direct impacts but also manages and treats the tributary water providing a regional benefit to the overall watershed. Many engineers, land planners, and developers instinctively assume that the floodplain area within their project site is worthless from a development standpoint; however an innovative ecological approach to stormwater management and regional water quality is quickly changing those perceptions.

This presentation will cover the basics of stormwater management regulations and the history of floodplains in Pennsylvania, and the concept and application of floodplain restoration for land development. Additionally, case studies from multiple central Pennsylvania sites will provide real-world applied benefits in terms of developable area\density, economic, and ecological improvements (including pre and post stormwater monitoring data).

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the historical basis related to development along waterways, flood insurance, and floodplain management.
  2. Evaluate floodplain regulations and the differences that may be found in local ordinances to ensure compliance.
  3. Use information provided to make sound investment decisions and development plans.
  4. Obtain first-hand knowledge regarding successful sustainable stormwater management projects and lessons learned.


Free to attend; $20 for continuing education credit in live webinar

Credit Hours

Live Webinar: 1.0 L&I Contact Hour, 1.0 PDH, 1.0 AIA LU|HSW, 1.0 ICC Contact Hour (0.1 CEU), 1.0 NARI hour/CEU

Tags: Land Development



The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center serves the home building industry and the residents of Pennsylvania by improving the quality and affordability of housing.

We conduct applied research, foster the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, and transfer appropriate technologies to the housing community.

Pennsylvania Housing Research Center

219 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2341

Fax: 814-863-7304