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News Release

Federal Program Helps Public After Hurricanes, Natural Disasters

Contact:
Jason Strenth
352-338-9559


GAINESVILLE, Fla., Aug. 13, 2021 — Hurricane season is underway, and the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) may be able to help if your area suffers damage. The program can relieve imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, wind­storms and hurricanes. Aid may include financial and technical assistance to remove debris from streams, protect destabilized stream banks and establish cover on critically eroding lands, repair conservation practices and purchase flood plain easements.

The public and private landowners are eligible for assistance, but must be represented by a project sponsor, such as a city, county, conservation district or a Native American tribe or organization. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, (NRCS) provides technical assistance and pays up to 75 percent of the construction. Local sources contribute the remaining portion in the form of cash or in-kind services.

The process begins when the sponsor requests assistance within 60 days after the event has occurred from a local NRCS office.  Staff visit the site and determine eligibility based on environmental impacts and economic analysis, then request funding from the NRCS national office. If Congress appropriates funds, the sponsor enters into a cooperative agreement to complete the work. Learn more here.