What is the TAG Program?
Starting in late July—August the FLMofRV Tag Program volunteers will seek to mark the perimeter of the Ross Valley Watershed Floodplain and to enter new locations, high water levels and flow directions for flood waters into a database. We know from meeting with government officials, taking personal testimony and exaqmining government and insurance records that the old FEMA maps of affected parcels are not accurate. In some cases parcels were not affected at all by recent flooding and in other areas, flooding spread outside the older map's perimeter.
Why is it important to mark high water marks?
For the very first time since San Anselmo and Fairfax opted out of Flood Control District 9 in 1972, planning will be done for the entire watershed. The County has set up a task force and hired the engineering firm that worked with the city of Napa on their flood control plan. With San Anselmo and Fairfax now supporting this watershed planning process, we can finally plan for a regional solution. But... with only one rain gauge for the entire watershed, there is not enough data available upon which to engineer an effective solution or mitigation. New high water marks from the Tag Program will help to create a more accurate hydraulic model—the first step in planning and engineering an effective flood mitigation system. Later this year, new rain gauges will be placed in additional locations so that accurate rainfall and flow measures can be measured and entered as well.
How will it work?
Flood Mitigation League of Ross Valley members, friends, and volunteers will tag high-water marks from the 2005 and 1982 floods all through the flood plain and its perimeter and collect data that will be handed over to engineers to help them prepare an accurate hydraulic model of the Ross Valley.
Once entered into the computer the tag program will become part of a 3D virtual model and be used to create other modeling tools.
Who is paying for the program?
The County of Marin is paying for the manufacturing of the tags. Our volunteers have designed the tags, we'll train field volunteers (with assistance from the County and engineers), and tag the high water marks, and fill out the data sheets.
It sounds like a lot of work, why are you doing it?
The entire budget for Flood Control Dist. 9 is approximately $300 thousand per year. There are no foreseeable sources of additional funding this year. Yet, planning needs to begin now; flooding solutions are needed; the next rainy season's storms are just months away. FLMofRV wants the planning and mitigation process to move forward as quickly as possible, if we can help carry out this portion of the process now, we are that much further along.
There is also a PR component to the program. Those of us who flooded in 82 and are still here to speak of it know that at first there was a lot of energy put into the effort to solve the problem, but it only got so far and never left the planning phase. Solutions stopped at Ross and subsequent efforts by San Anselmo and Fairfax were inadequate. Our intent is that the Tag program, highly visible at first, will continue to keep the dangers of flooding front and center in the public eye so that the pressure to find solutions and the political will to deliver them will succeed.
How can I help?
Here's how you can help:
- Sign up to volunteer.
- Help us plan our work: locate high water marks or people who know about them and report your research to us.
- Join a team to collect data and attach tags. No special skills involved.
- Volunteer to work with the data and enter it into the data base.
- Donate $ to help underwrite the cost of this program and other League initiatives.
Please use the "Volunteer" link on the left, or one of the links in the right sidebar to volunteer information, or time. Use the "Contact Us" link or the "Join" link to contribute financially to this effort.
The Flood Mitigation League of Ross Valley Board of Directors