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Watershed Rehabilitation


Small Watershed Program Public Law 83-566

In 1954, Congress enacted the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (Public Law 83-566), which authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to provide technical and financial assistance to local organizations for planning and carrying out watershed projects. Since that time, rural and urban communities have used multi-purpose small watershed projects to promote better land use, reduce water resource problems, and improve the quality of life.  Small watershed projects provide for resource development and help to solve resource problems that are too big to be handled by individual landowners but not extensive enough to be supported by large federal and state projects for water resource development in major river valleys. Watershed projects under this law may be up to 250,000 acres in size.

The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program is designed to bridge the gap between the on-farm conservation practices installed by individual landowners and the larger programs for development and flood protection of major river valleys.   For more information on the Small Watershed Program please refer to the program criteria in the National Watershed Manual.

The purpose of these projects is to accomplish one or some of the following goals:

1.      Erosion Control

2.      Flood Prevention

3.      Agricultural Water Management

4.      Public Fish and Wildlife Development

5.      Municipal or Industrial Water Supply

6.      Public Recreation Development

7.      Water Quality Management

8.      Ground Water Recharge

PL-566 Accomplishments in Louisiana since 1954:

  • 34 projects complete (3.8 million acres)
  • 11 projects active (1.8 million acres)
  • 2,900 miles of channel with pipedrops (erosion control structures)
  • 150 weirs/grade stabilization structures
  • 36 dams
  • 60 miles of levee
  • 4 recreation areas
  • 11 cooperative river basin studies complete
  •        1.  Bayou Pierre CRBS  (PDF; 5.9 MB)
  •        2.  Calcasieu-Sabine CRBS  (PDF; 4.3 MB)
  •        3.  Mermentau CRBS  (PDF; 4.1 MB)
  •        3.  Teche-Vermillion CRBS  (PDF; 14.2 MB)
  • Planning
  •        1.  Coulee Baton Micro-watershed  (PDF; 8.7 MB)