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Emergency Watershed Protection Program

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.

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