Beneficial Functions of a Floodplain


​Recognizing the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains can help to reduce flooding. Floodplains are a natural component of the City of Salem environment. Understanding and protecting the natural functions of floodplains reduces flood damage and protects resources.

When flooding spreads out across the floodplain, its energy is dissipated, resulting in lower flood flows downstream, reduced erosion of the stream bank and channel, deposition of sediments higher in the watershed, and improved groundwater recharge. Floodplains are scenic, serve as valued wildlife habitats, and are suitable for farming. Poorly planned development in floodplains can lead to stream bank erosion, loss of valuable property, increased risk of flooding to downstream properties, and degradation of water quality.

Additional resources

Phone Number
City of Salem, Community Development, Planning
Tree Trimming or Removal PermitCity Planners can provide information about protection of vegetation and trees along waterways and tree removal.
Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL)
Oregon Department of State Lands WebsiteDSL reviews and issues removal/fill permits for development activities in waterways and wetlands.
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
Floodsmart WebsiteThe Floodsmart website provides information about the National Flood Insurance Program, answers questions about flood insurance, and provides assistance to find local insurance agents that offer flood insurance.
City of Salem, Public Library
Salem Public Library WebsiteThe library collection contains floodplain publications and other floodplain-related information.
City of Salem, Public Works, Development Services
Contact Development Services to speak with a Floodplain Manager or if you have questions about the interactive floodplain map.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
USACE Flood Risk Management WebsiteTo find out more information about the USACE Flood Risk Management Program.
City of Salem, Emergency Preparedness
Emergency and Disaster PreparednessFor assistance in an emergency, call 911. Contact us to learn more about preparing for a disaster or for information on the City's emergency management program.
City of Salem, Public Works Dispatch
Call dispatch if you discover problems with a street or your water / sewer service (i.e. broken pipe, pothole, environmental spill, clogged street drain).
Mid Willamette Valley High Water Watch
Mid Willamette Valley High Water WatchView current stream levels and rainfall data in near real-time from a number of sites across the City.

Floodplains are scenic, serve as valued wildlife habitats, and are suitable for farming.

Contact us

Public Works Department
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 325
Salem OR 97301