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Emergency Watershed Protection Program Fact Sheet

Emergency Watershed Protection Program Fact Sheet 2011

The Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program is designed to reduce threats to life and property in the wake of natural disasters. It provides technical and cost sharing assistance. Assistance includes both removing and establishing vegetative cover; gully control, installing stream bank protection devices; removing debris and sediment; and stabilizing levees, channels, and gullies. In subsequent storms, EWP projects protect homes, businesses, highways and public facilities from further damage. The April 2011 flooding and tornadoes are considered EWP events.  The program is administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Program Eligibility

EWP recovery assistance is made available to project sponsors and individuals through project sponsors. Project sponsors are any legal subdivision of a state government or a state agency including: cities, counties, towns, and county conservation districts.

NRCS provides assistance to reduce the threat to life and property from a watershed impairment, including sediment and debris removal.  Assistance can also be provided for protection from additional flooding or soil erosion by slowing runoff. Examples of eligible work includes: the removal of storm debris from stream channels, culverts and bridge structures caused by the tornadoes and flooding. The funding can also be used for streambank stabilization projects that protect infrastructure.

For this program, debris is considered the remains of damaged or downed trees from the April 2011 flooding and tornadoes. 

Assistance is not available for:

  • Hazard reduction existing prior to the April 2011 storms.
  • Reimbursement to sponsors or landowners for work already performed, currently under a contract for work, or performed through volunteer activities.

Program Funding

EWP provides a federal cost share rate of 75 percent of the construction cost of emergency measures and debris removal.  The sponsor is responsible for the remaining 25 percent of the cost. The 25 percent cost share may be “in kind” contributions.

Application Process

Applications for EWP assistance will be accepted at USDA Field Service Centers.

For More Information

Please contact NRCS at your local USDA Service Center, listed in phone directories under U.S. Government.

Program Contact

Walt Delp, P.E.
State Conservation Engineer
(501) 301-3141