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Emergency Watershed Protection Program

TheWetland Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, Public Law 104-127, amended the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP) to provide for the purchase of floodplain easements acquisition through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The EWPP-FPE provides an alternative for farmers with frequently flooded and damaged farmland. The program's primary emphasis is to retire frequently-flooded bottomland from agriculture uses, allowing the unimpeded reach and flows off floodwaters. It also eliminates the need for future disaster payments on frequently flooded cropland.
Floodplain easements restore, protect, maintain, and enhance the functions of the floodplain; conserve natural values including fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, flood water retention, ground water recharge, and open space; reduce long-term federal disaster assistance; and safeguard lives and property from floods, drought, and products of erosion. Floodplains that include cropland, pasture, or timber, are eligible for EWPP-FPE. The land must have been damaged by flooding within the past year or at least 2 times during the past 10 years. Crop history is not a consideration for eligibility, although cropland fields do receive a higher score during the ranking process. Upland may be included within the easement area but cannot exceed 50% of the total enrollment area.
Restoration of the new EWP easement sites consists of seeding native plant communities, breaking diversions and breaching flood control levees (if applicable). The construction and installation of impoundment dikes or water control structures are not included since restoration of the reach and flow of floodwaters is a major consideration.
No funds available for 2012
Natural Resource Specialist
601.965.5205  EXT 154