Abstract Over the past century, flood damage reduction programs in the United States have moved away from structural flood control towards approaches that emphasize non-structural floodplain management. These approaches make use of natural flood control functions and other beneficial attributes of river catchments, floodplains, and channels. River managers in the US also are employing a number of relatively new concepts in achieving flood damage reduction and other objectives. These concepts include: maintenance and restoration of natural hydrologic processes; increasing public involvement in planning and implementing river management strategies; and adaptive management. This management involves learning from the response of the river system to various management actions and making adjustments to improve the response in future. While the new, integrated approach to flood damage reduction is more complicated than the old, structural approaches, it has a number of advantages. Among these are the potential to provide wildlife and other benefits in addition to flood damage reduction, the flexibility to respond to changing conditions, and the maintenance or improvement of environmental quality, including biodiversity conservation. Implications of an integrated approach to flood control for Poland also are discussed in this paper.