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Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP)

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The EWP Program provides assistance to project sponsors and individuals in implementing emergency recovery measures to relieve imminent hazards to life and property created by a natural disaster that causes a sudden impairment of a watershed.

Assistance is available only when public or private landowners, land managers, land users, or others document that they have exhausted or have insufficient funding or other resources available to provide adequate relief from applicable hazards.
(See 7 CFR 624.6(a) (2) (IV)).

Picture of completed EWP Project with gabion baskets

Technical and Financial Assistance

EWP technical and financial assistance may be made available, dependent upon funding, when a declaration of the following:

  • A federal emergency is declared by the President
  • A local or State emergency is declared by the State Conservationist*
  • In drought situations when the Secretary of Agriculture has declared a drought emergency

* This could be initiated as a result of a declaration by a governor of a State, followed by appropriate action taken by the State Conservationist followed by assistance from a qualified sponsor.

Request for Assistance

Project sponsors must apply for EWP assistance to the State Conservationist by written request.

The request must consist of the following:

  • A discussion of the problems encountered.
  • Assistance needed, including the following:
    • Nature of the problem
    • Location
    • Scope of the problem
  • Commitment by the sponsor to assume the following responsibilities:
    • Provide local cost-share
    • Land rights acquisition
    • Permits
    • Responsibility for O&M, if required
  • A statement indicating that funds have either been exhausted or are insufficient to provide adequate relief from the applicable hazards
  • Detailed information is not required at the time of the initial request

Project sponsors must submit a request for assistance within 60 days following the date of the natural occurrence that caused the watershed impairment, or after access to the site becomes available.

A completed sand cement bag riprap wall with rock riprap chutes. A nearly completed sand cement bag riprap wall.
A completed sand cement bag riprap wall with rock riprap chutes. A nearly completed sand cement bag riprap wall.

Eligible Entities

Legal subdivision of a State government or a State agency such as:

  • Cities
  • Counties or Parishes
  • Towns
  • Townships
  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts
  • Levee Districts
  • Drainage Districts
  • Any Native American tribe or tribal organization as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b),
  • Has a legal interest in or responsibility for the values threatened by a watershed emergency
  • Is capable of obtaining necessary land rights and required permits
  • Is capable of carrying out any operation and maintenance (O&M) responsibilities that may be required.

For More Information

The documents on this page requires Adobe Reader.

EWP Fact Sheet (PDF; 402 KB) 

Sample Letter for Requesting EWP Assistance (PDF; 22 KB)

Damage Survey Report (DSR) (PDF; 368 KB)

NRCS Electronic Disaster Report (PDF; 482 KB)

NRCS-ADS-78 - Assurances Relating to Real Property Acquisition (PDF; 14 KB)

EWP Emergency Recovery Plan (PDF; 2.60 MB)


Mark J. Northcut, Landscape Planning
Phone: 254-742-9824