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Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program - Rhode Island

WATERSHED PROGRAMS - WFPO

The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention (WFPO) Program helps units of federal, state, local and federally recognized tribal  governments (project sponsors) protect and restore watersheds.

NYC Green Thumb Collage

JUNE 2024 - FEATURED WFPO PROJECT

New York City Urban Water Management Project - WFPO Initiative

Sponsor: New York City Parks Green Thumb

Providing an accessible and reliable water supply to food-producing community gardens in the Five Boroughs of NYC!

PHASE I - Planning - Public Scoping Meetings being held June 13th, June 14th, and June 15th! 

 

Great Blue Heron

Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) Program

OVERVIEW

The WFPO program provides technical and financial assistance to States, local governments and Tribal organizations to help plan and implement authorized watershed projects for the purpose of:

  • Flood Prevention
  • Watershed Protection
  • Public Recreation
  • Public Fish and Wildlife
  • Agricultural Water Management
  • Municipal and Industrial Water Supply
  • Water Quality Management

 

watershed water lake shore

WFPO Project Criteria

   - Public sponsorship

   - Watershed Projects ≤ 250,000 acres

   - Agricultural benefits, including rural communities, must be ≥ 20% of the total benefits for the project.

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Locally Led Watershed Solutions

Watershed conservation projects are planned and carried out jointly by local, state, and federal agencies with the support of community landowners and citizens in the watershed. Communities identify resource problems to be addressed, practices to be installed, and carry out major portions of a watershed plan, such as obtaining easements, rights of ways, permits and local cost-share funding. All Watershed Program projects must have a local sponsor that can act as the fiscal agent, provide project management and oversight throughout the different phases of construction, implementation, and project lifespan. Learn more about sponsor eligibility...

Project sponsors initiate a request for assistance thru their local NRCS office to develop a preliminary feasibility study (PIFR) which helps communities consider sustainable climate resilient solutions to address watershed resource concerns. After a feasibility study is conducted, a watershed plan is chosen, reviewed, approved and authorized. Once authorized, projects sponsors gain access to NRCS's financial and technical resources to help implement their plan. An approved watershed plan must be in place prior to initiation of any corrective land treatment or structural solutions. Project sponsors then help landowners carry out the authorized watershed conservation measures.

Watershed OPS Fact Sheet
WFPO Fact Sheet

Rhode Island Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Operations Projects

Through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Operations program, Rhode Island NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to project sponsors, including state agencies, local governments and tribes, to plan and implement authorized watershed projects that conserve soil and water and prevent flooding. Current projects include:

  • Pocasset watershed design
  • Wood - Pawcatuck watershed planning
  • Woonasquatucket watershed planning

Active Projects

Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Planning Project

Rhode Island NRCS is also conducting Preliminary Feasibility Studies (PIFRs) for 8 watersheds to help communities consider sustainable climate resilient solutions to address watershed resource concerns. After a feasibility study is conducted, a watershed plan is chosen, reviewed, approved and authorized. PIFRs are currently underway for:

  • Bailey Brook Watershed, Middletown - Sponsored by the Rhode Island Association of Conservation Districts (RIACD), the study will evaluate flooding, water quality and habitat improvement resource concerns.
  • Blackstone River Watershed, Providence County - Sponsored by the RIACD, the study will evaluate flooding, water quality and habitat improvement resource concerns.
  • Deep Pond and School House Pond Watershed, Charlestown - Sponsored by the Narragansett Tribal Government, the study will evaluate erosion, water quality and habitat improvement resource concerns.
  • Palmer River Watershed, Warren - Sponsored by the RIACD, the study will evaluate flooding, water quality and habitat improvement resource concerns.
  • Paradise Brook and Maidford River Watershed, Middletown - Sponsored by the RIACD, the study will evaluate flooding and water quality resource concerns.
  • Pawtuxet River Watershed, Kent County - Sponsored by the RIACD, the study will evaluate flooding, water quality and habitat improvement resource concerns.
  • Runnins River Watershed, East Providence - Sponsored by the RIACD, the study will evaluate flood prevention (flood damage reduction), watershed protection and water quality management.
  • Winnapaug and Salt Ponds Watershed, Westerly - Sponsored by the RIACD and Narragansett Tribal Government, the study will evaluate flooding, water quality and habitat improvement resource concerns.

 

WFPO Resources

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 number.

If you don’t have a farm 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 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. View Application Ranking Dates by State.

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.