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Emergency Watershed Protection Program- North Carolina

EWP

The Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program, a federal emergency recovery program, helps local communities recover after a natural disaster strikes.

Program Contact

Jim Kjelaard, Acting Emergency Watershed Protection Program Manager, 919-873-2130 email: Jim.Kjelaard@nc.usda.gov

EWP Background

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program, which responds to emergencies created by natural disasters. It is not necessary for a national emergency to be declared for an area to be eligible for assistance.

The program is designed to help people and conserve natural resources by relieving imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, wind­storms, and other natural occurrences. EWP is an emergency recovery program. All projects undertaken, with the exception of the pur­chase of floodplain easements, must have a project sponsor.

NRCS may bear up to 75 percent of the construction cost of emergency measures. The remaining 25 per­cent must come from local sources and can be in the form of cash or in-kind services. Funding is subject to Congressional approval.

Type of Work Authorized

NRCS may purchase EWPP easements on any floodplain lands that have been impaired within the last 12 months or that have a history of repeated flooding (i.e., flooded at least two times during the past 10 years).

EWP is designed for installation of recovery measures. Activities include providing financial and technical assistance to:

  • remove debris from stream channels, road culverts, and bridges
  • reshape and protect eroded banks
  • correct damaged drainage facilities
  • establish cover on critically eroding lands
  • repair levees and structures and
  • repair conservation practices.

NRCS may purchase EWPP easements on any floodplain lands that have been impaired within the last 12 months or that have a history of repeated flooding (i.e., flooded at least two times during the past 10 years).

It can include purchasing floodplain easements. These easements can restore, protect, maintain, and enhance the functions of wetlands and riparian areas. They also conserve natural values including fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, flood water retention, ground water recharge, and safeguard lives and property from floods, drought, and the products of erosion. EWP work is not limited to any one set of prescribed measures. A case-by-case investigation of the work is made by NRCS.

Eligibility

Public and private landowners are eligible for assistance but must be represented by a project sponsor. Sponsors include legal subdivisions of the State, such as a city, county, general improvement district, conservation district, or any Native American tribe or tribal organization as defined in section 4 of the Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act.

Sponsor's Obligations

Sponsors are responsible for:

  • providing land rights to do repair work
  • securing the neces­sary permits
  • furnishing the local cost share
  • accomplishing the installation of work
  • Work can be done either through Federal or local contracts.

How Do I Get Assistance?

If you have suffered severe damage that may qualify for the EWP program, you should contact your local authorities and request assistance.

City and county governments, flood and water control districts, and soil and water conservation districts are the most common sponsors of EWP projects. Contact them directly to see if they are aware of the program or have contacted NRCS for help. More information is available from NRCS offices throughout the United States and the Caribbean and Pacific Basin Areas.

Questions about EWP in North Carolina?

To get answers to your questions about EWP in North Carolina, contact the NRCS EWP Coordinator designated for your area of the state on the map below, or call the NRCS State Office at (919) 873-
2100.

Administrative Structure for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program in N.C

Other Disaster Assistance

Ready to get started?

Contact your local service center to start your application.

Find Your Local Service Center

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.

How to Get Assistance

Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease?

Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.

how to get started

To get started with NRCS, we recommend you stop by your local NRCS field office. We’ll discuss your vision for your land.

NRCS provides landowners with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you.

We’ll walk you through the application process. To get started on applying for financial assistance, we’ll work with you:

  • To fill out an AD 1026, which ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed. It also ensures that identified wetland areas are protected.
  • To meet other eligibility certifications.

Once complete, we’ll work with you on the application, or CPA 1200.

Applications for most programs are accepted on a continuous basis, but they’re considered for funding in different ranking periods. Be sure to ask your local NRCS district conservationist about the deadline for the ranking period to ensure you turn in your application in time.

As part of the application process, we’ll check to see if you are eligible. To do this, you’ll need to bring:

  • An official tax ID (Social Security number or an employer ID)
  • A property deed or lease agreement to show you have control of the property; and
  • A farm tract number.

If you don’t have a farm tract number, you can get one from USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Typically, the local FSA office is located in the same building as the local NRCS office. You only need a farm tract number if you’re interested in financial assistance.

NRCS will take a look at the applications and rank them according to local resource concerns, the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide and the needs of applicants.

If you’re selected, you can choose whether to sign the contract for the work to be done.

Once you sign the contract, you’ll be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice or practices, and then you will have a specified amount of time to implement. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you’ll be paid the rate of compensation for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications.