Small Towns, Big Waters and Managed Retreat

For Some Floodplain Towns, It’s Sink, Swim or Rise. But How Do You Move an Entire Town?

The Bad River in Wisconsin
The Bad River in northern Wisconsin. (Joe Proudman/UC Davis)

Climate change and sea-level rise are bringing more water to people’s doorsteps, threatening communities from Midwestern America to Jakarta, Indonesia. Entire towns are moving to escape rising waters. But how do towns address these growing threats and still retain their sense of community?

male scientist and woman tribal historian look at maps in Odanah, Wisconsin
UC Davis professor and flood expert Nicholas Pinter looks at maps and documents with Edith Leoso, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa in 2018. (Joe Proudman/UC Davis)

To find out, flood expert Nicholas Pinter, a professor at the University of California, Davis, and his team are visiting dozens of communities across the Midwest  that have moved entirely off the floodplain in a concept called "managed retreat."

Read the full, multimedia story of two of those towns--one in Illinois, the other in Wisconsin--at UC Davis Science & Climate,

Pinter will discuss this research and take questions on May 22 via livestream on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube during an interview with "UC Davis Live" at 10:45 a.m. PT/1:45 p.m. ET. 

Media Resources

Kat Kerlin, UC Davis News and Media Relations, 530-750-9195,

Nicholas Pinter, UC Davis Earth and Planetary Sciences, (530) 754-1041,

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