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Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program


The Cane Creek Watershed Dam at Bear Creek Park, is
located in Lancaster, SC, and is a multi-purpose structure
that provides flood control,watershed protection and

The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program assists Federal, State, local agencies, local government sponsors, tribal governments, and program participants in implementing watershed protection practices. The purpose of the program is to protect and restore watersheds from damage caused by erosion, floodwater, and sediment, to conserve and develop water and land resources, and solve natural resource and related economic problems on a watershed basis. The program provides technical and financial assistance to local project sponsors, builds partnerships, and requires local and state funding contribution. The watershed program is a unique and flexible approach to natural resource planning and management, focusing on proper land use and the installation of conservation practices.

The program is authorized by the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (Public Law 83-566) passed in 1954 when Congress recognized the serious natural resource and economic damages suffered in our nation's watersheds from flooding and sedimentation. The Act has been amended several times to address a broad range of natural resource and environmental issues. Today this authority can be used to assist communities to address almost any natural resource issue. The Act provides assistance to sponsors who develop projects on watersheds up to 250,000 acres (391 square miles) in size. Watershed plans are developed by interdisciplinary teams of technical specialists who assist the project sponsor.

Learn more on the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program.

Accomplishments in South Carolina

  • 57 watershed projects planned and completed
  • 106 flood retardant structures (watershed dams) built
  • 9 watershed dams designed for use as a water supply for local communities
  • 5 dams used for community recreation

Description of Eligible Purposes

Watershed projects may be developed for one or more of the purposes authorized by Public Law 83-566. Project measures include land treatment practices including both structural and nonstructural. 

  • Flood prevention
  • Watershed protection (soil erosion reduction and sediment control)
  • Rural water supply
  • Water quality protection and improvement
  • Fish and wildlife enhancement
  • Public recreation
  • Municipal and industrial water supply

For more information, please contact:

Eric Fleming
State Conservation Engineer
(803) 765-5683