Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP)
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The purpose of the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program is to undertake emergency measures, including the purchase of flood plain easements, to prevent runoff and soil erosion in order to safeguard lives and property from floods, drought, and erosion on any watershed whenever natural occurrence(s) cause a sudden impairment of the watershed.
It is not necessary for a national emergency to be declared for an area to be eligible for assistance. Activities include providing financial and technical assistance to remove debris from streams, protect destabilized streambanks, establish cover on critically eroding lands, repairing conservation practices, and the purchase of flood plain easements. The program is designed for installation of recovery measures.
Excerpt from Section 216, P.L. 81-516 (as amended) that pertains to NRCS EWP Program
"The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to undertake emergency measures, including the purchase of floodplain easements, for runoff retardation and soil erosion prevention, in cooperation with landowners and land users, as the Secretary deems necessary to safeguard lives and property from floods, drought, and the products of erosion on any watershed whenever fire, flood, or any other natural occurrence is causing or has caused a sudden impairment of that watershed."
State Conservation Engineer