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Emergency Watershed Protection

Emergency Watershed Protection

The purpose of the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program is to undertake emergency measures, including the purchase of flood plain easements, for runoff retardation and soil erosion prevention 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 the watershed.

It is not necessary for a national emergency to be declared for an area to be eligible for assistance. Program objective is to assist sponsors and individuals in implementing emergency measures to relieve imminent hazards to life and property created by a natural disaster. 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.

Work is authorized by section 216, P.L. 81-516, (33 U.S.C. 701b1) and Sections 403-405, P.L. 95-334, (16 U.S.C. 2203-2205).

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."

Additional Information

Program Contacts

Jay Cobb, State Conservation Engineer, 605-352-1260
Andrea Kannegieter, Contract Specialist, 605-352-1237