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Emergency Watershed Protection Program

Image of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program Before and After PictureThe Emergency Watershed Protection program alleviates hazards to life and property caused by floods, hurricanes, fires, windstorms and other natural disasters. Public and private landowners are eligible for assistance, but must be represented by a project sponsor, such as a city, county, conservation district or tribal government.

The sponsor begins the process by sending a letter of request to the Florida NRCS state conservationist that includes the nature, location and scope of the problem. Upon receiving the letter of request, NRCS and the sponsor conduct a site visit to determine eligibility. At the site visit, NRCS field staff will complete a Damage Survey Report that documents the site conditions, proposed solutions, environmental impacts and economic analysis. This report is used to determine eligibility and priority for funding. If the site is deemed eligible and Congress appropriates funds, the sponsor enters into a cooperative agreement to complete the work.

Assistance includes financial and technical assistance to remove debris from streams, protect destabilized stream banks and establish cover on critically eroding lands, repairing conservation practices and the purchase of flood plain easements. Purchasing a floodplain easement through the EWPP-Floodplain Easements is sometimes a more practical and economical option than restoring the site.  

The program cannot be used:

  • to address problems that existed prior to the disaster;
  • to improve the level of protection above the existing level at the time of the disaster;
  • for projects’ operation and maintenance;
  • to repair private or public transportation facilities or utilities;
  • to install non-essential restoration work that will not reduce or eliminate adverse impacts from the natural disaster; or
  • to restore projects installed by another federal agency.

Staff at your local NRCS office will explain the eligibility requirements for the program.

Florida’s EWP program manager is Jason Strenth, 352-338-9559.

More Information
National NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection Program Manual
Emergency Watershed Protection - Floodplain Easement
Sample letter of request
2019 Sponsor’s EWP Guide

Project Videos
City of Pensacola
Escambia County
City of Crestview
10 Mile Creek

Crescent Lake Dam
Gatewood Ditch
Olive Road
Swamphouse Road Stream