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Emergency Watershed Protection Program

debris in canal after hurricaneThe Emergency Watershed Protection program responds to emergencies created by natural disasters.  Recovery efforts aim to alleviate hazards to life and property caused by floods, hurricanes, fires, windstorms and other natural occurrences. Public and private landowners are eligible for assistance, but must be represented by a project sponsor, such as a city, county, conservation district or tribal government.

The sponsor begins the process by sending a letter of request to the Florida NRCS State Conservationist that includes the nature, location and scope of the problem. Upon receiving the letter of request, NRCS and the sponsor will conduct a site visit to determine eligibility.  At the site visit, NRCS field staff will complete a Damage Survey Report that documents the site conditions, proposed solutions, environmental impacts and economic analysis. This report is used to determine eligibility and priority for funding. If the site is eligible, Florida NRCS will request funding. If funds are available NRCS will enter into a cooperative agreement with the sponsor to repair approved sites.

Assistance includes financial and technical assistance to remove debris from streams, protect destabilized stream banks and establish cover on critically eroding lands, repairing conservation practices and the purchase of flood plain easements. Purchasing a floodplain easement is sometimes a more practical and economical option than restoring the site.

Staff at your local NRCS office will explain the eligibility requirements for the EWP program.

Florida’s EWP program manager is Jesse Wilson352-338-9557

More information:

National NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection Program Manual
Emergency Watershed Protection - Floodplain Easement
Sample letter of request  (DOC 33 kb)
Sponsor’s EWP Guide -July 2013 (PDF 1.24 mb)