Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program
When a natural disaster strikes your community - whether it's fire, flood, hurricane, tornado or earthquake - the after effects of the emergency often times can be just as threatening as the emergency itself. Natural disasters can strip the land, leaving it susceptible to erosion by wind and water, to floods and to other natural disasters. When the land is vulnerable, lives and property are also threatened. Before a threatening situation arises in your community, learn how watersheds can be protected, in the aftermath of a natural disaster, with assistance from the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program.
Spring 2012 - New Hampshire NRCS Leads Tour of 10 EWP Sites & Seeks Input on the Program
What is EWP?
The Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program was set up by Congress to respond to emergencies created by natural disasters. It is designed to relieve imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, windstorms, fires, and other natural occurrences.
The purpose of (EWP) is to help groups of people with a common problem. It is generally not an individual assistance program. All projects undertaken must be sponsored by a political subdivision of the state, such as a city, town, county, or conservation district.
The program is administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which provides technical and financial assistance to preserve life and property threatened by excessive erosion and flooding.
What are some typical projects?
All work must represent the least expensive alternative. Typical type projects include: clearing debris from clogged stream channels, restoring vegetation, stabilizing eroded stream banks, and purchasing floodplain easements.
Is Financial Assistance Available?
NRCS may provide up to 75% of the total funds needed to restore the natural function of an impaired watershed. The remaining 25% must come from local sources and can be in the form of cash or in-kind services.
Warren Brook - Before
How do I get assistance?
If you feel your property has suffered severe damage and may qualify under EWP, you are encouraged to contact your local selectman or public works department and your local county Conservation District and NRCS Office.
You also should follow up with a letter requesting assistance after eligibility has been determined. NOTE: All applications must be submitted 10 days from the disaster for exigency and within 60 days for non-exigency situations.
What are the criteria for receiving assistance?
All EWP work must reduce threats to life and property. Furthermore, it must be economically and environmentally defensible. The project must also be stable from an engineering standpoint. EWP work generally must yield benefits to more than one person.
Warren Brook - After
Who is eligible?
Public and private landowners are eligible for assistance but must be represented by a project sponsor. The project sponsor must be a legal unit of government such as a town, city, county, or conservation district.
What does the sponsor have to do?
Sponsors are responsible for providing land rights to do repair work, real property acquisition, and securing the necessary permits. Sponsors are also responsible for furnishing the local cost share and for installing the work. The work can be completed through either federal or local contracts.
What EWP Can't Do
EWP funds cannot be used to solve problems that existed before the disaster or to improve the level of protection that which existed prior to the disaster. EWP cannot fund operation and maintenance work, or repair private or public transportation facilities or utilities. EWP work cannot adversely affect downstream water rights, and EWP funds cannot be used to install measures not essential to the reduction of hazards. In addition, EWP funds cannot be used to perform work on measures installed by another federal agency.
These documents require Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, or Microsoft Word.
National EWP Fact Sheet (125 KB pdf)
New Hampshire Bulletin No: PDM-390-10-5 Emergency Watershed Protection (36.5 KB pdf)
505-20EWP Recovery Measure Form-Fillable
New Hampshire EWP Fact Sheet (50.4 KB pdf)
October 2005 - Alstead Power Point Before and after pictures of the Alstead, New Hampshire area after the flooding in October 2005 flooding.
NRCS - NH State Conservation Engineer
Phone: (603) 868-9931, ext. 112
For more information, please contact your local NRCS Service Center or visit the National EWP web site.