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EWP Program - Recovery Assistance

Image of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program Recovery Assistance Picture

The Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program allows communities to quickly address serious and long-lasting damages to infrastructure and to the land. The program’s timelines for assistance ensures NRCS must act quickly to help local communities cope with adverse impacts resulting from natural disasters. All projects must demonstrate that they reduce threats to life and property; be economically, environmentally and socially sound and must be designed to acceptable engineering standards. The EWP Program also allows NRCS to establish non-traditional partnerships with sponsors to complete projects.

EWP Program - Recovery

NRCS provides financial and technical assistance for the following activities under EWP Program – Recovery:  

  • debris removal from stream channels, road culverts and bridges;
  • reshape and protect eroded streambanks;
  • correct damaged drainage facilities;
  • establish vegetative cover on critically eroding lands
  • repair levees and structures; and      
  • repair conservation practices.


Public and private landowners can apply for assistance for EWP Program – Recovery projects through a local sponsor, or a legal subdivision of state or tribal government. Eligible sponsors include cities, counties, towns, conservation districts, flood and water control districts, or any federally-recognized Native American tribe or tribal organization.

Sponsors are responsible for the following:

  • providing land rights for the repairs;
  • securing the necessary permits;
  • providing the sponsor funding for repairs;
  • ensuring the repairs are installed; and
  • completing the repairs using federal or local contracts.

EWP Program Funding

Congress approves all EWP Program funding.

NRCS can pay up to 75 percent of the cost for eligible emergency projects. Local sponsors must acquire the remaining 25 percent in cash or in-kind services.

EWPP Assistance Through Floodplain Easements

NRCS also provides financial and technical assistance under EWPP – Floodplain Easements:  

  • NRCS may purchase EWPP floodplain easements instead of trying to recover damaged floodplain land. Permanent EWPP-Floodplain easements can be used if they prove more cost effective than recovery. Landowners interested in enrolling their land in a permanent EWPP – floodplain easement should contact their local USDA Service Center.

Please visit (EWPP-Floodplain easements) for more information about this EWPP option.

Contact Information

To learn more about NRCS’s EWP Program, please contact your state's EWP Program Manager.