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Program Listing #2

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Watershed Surveys and Planning

Contact: USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service

The Watershed and Flood Prevention Act, P.L. 83-566, August 4, 1954, (16 U.S.C. 1001-1008) authorized this program. Prior to fiscal year 1996, small watershed planning activities and the cooperative river basin surveys and investigations authorized by Section 6 of the Act were operated as separate programs. The 1996 appropriations act combined the activities into a single program entitled the Watershed Surveys and Planning program. Activities under both programs are continuing under this authority.

The purpose of the program is to assist Federal, State, and local agencies and tribal governments to protect watersheds from damage caused by erosion, floodwater, and sediment and to conserve and develop water and land resources. Resource concerns addressed by the program include water quality, opportunities for water conservation, wetland and water storage capacity, agricultural drought problems, rural development, municipal and industrial water needs, upstream flood damages, and water needs for fish, wildlife, and forest-based industries.

Types of surveys and plans include watershed plans, river basin surveys and studies, flood hazard analyses, and flood plain management assistance. The focus of these plans is to identify solutions that use land treatment and nonstructural measures to solve resource problems.

Also see the Emergency Watershed Protection Fact Sheet.


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Resource Conservation & Development Program (RC&D)

Contact: USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service

The purpose of the Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) program is to accelerate the conservation, development and utilization of natural resources, improve the general level of economic activity, and to enhance the environment and standard of living in authorized RC&D areas. It improves the capability of state, tribal, and local units of government and local nonprofit organizations in rural areas to plan, develop and carry out programs for resource conservation and development. The program also establishes or improves coordination systems in rural areas. Current program objectives focus on improvement of quality of life achieved through natural resources conservation and community development which leads to sustainable communities, prudent use (development), and the management and conservation of natural resources. Authorized RC&D areas are locally sponsored areas designated by the Secretary of Agriculture for RC&D technical and financial assistance program funds. NRCS can provide grants for land conservation, water management, community development, and environmental needs in authorized RC&D areas.

Also see:

Watersheds Operations--Small Watershed Program and Flood Prevention Program (WF 08 or FP 03)

Contact: USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service

The Small Watershed Program works through local government sponsors and helps participants solve natural resource and related economic problems on a watershed basis. Projects include watershed protection, flood prevention, erosion and sediment control, water supply, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, wetlands creation and restoration, and public recreation in watersheds of 250,000 or fewer acres. Both technical and financial assistance are available. Click here for details.

Also see the Emergency Watershed Protection Fact Sheet.

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Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP)

Contact: USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service

The Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program was passed by Congress to relieve imminent threats to life and property caused by storms, flooding, and erosion. It is designed to assist groups of people with a common problem, but individuals who are sponsored by a local unit of government may also qualify.  For additional information on what is available in Nebraska, click here.

Key Provisions:
Provides technical and cost-sharing assistance up to 75% of project costs; and
Provides a case-by-case investigation of eligible projects to develop remedial measures.

Eligibility:
EWP protects homes, businesses, highways, public facilities, and a wide variety of other property damaged or threatened by natural disasters or emergencies. Public and private landowners are eligible but they must be represented by a sponsoring local unit of government such as a city, county, or watershed authority.

Limitations:
EWP funds cannot be used to:

  • Solve pre-existing problems or raise the level of protection that existed prior to the disaster;
  • Support operation or maintenance work, or repair transportation facilities or utilities;
  • Adversely affect downstream water rights or install measures not essential to hazard reduction;
  • Perform work on measures installed by another Federal agency.

How to Apply:
If you believe your area might qualify for assistance, contact your city or county flood control district or emergency service authority. These units of government can sponsor the assistance by sending a letter to the NRCS State Conservationist providing the nature, location, and scope of the problem for which assistance is requested. Additional information and assistance can be obtained by contacting your local NRCS Field Office. 

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Last Modified 06/16/2011