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Emergency Watershed Protection Program

The purpose of the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program is to undertake emergency measures, including the purchase of flood plain easements, for runoff retardation and soil erosion prevention to safeguard lives and property from floods, drought, and the products of erosion on any watershed whenever fire, flood or any other natural occurrence is causing or has caused a sudden impairment of the watershed.

It is not necessary for a national emergency to be declared for an area to be eligible for assistance. Program objective is to assist sponsors and individuals in implementing emergency measures to relieve imminent hazards to life and property created by a natural disaster. Activities include providing financial and technical assistance to remove debris from streams, protect destabilized streambanks, establish cover on critically eroding lands, repairing conservation practices, and the purchase of flood plain easements. The program is designed for installation of recovery measures.

The Emergency Watershed Protection - Floodplain Easement (EWPP-FPE) option offers an alternative method to traditional EWP Program Recovery. NRCS recommends this option to landowners and others where acquiring an easement is the best approach (more economical and prudent) to reduce threat to life and/or property. A major goal of EWPP–FPE is to restore the land, to the maximum extent possible, to its natural condition. Restoration techniques include the use of structural and non-structural practices to restore the flow and storage of floodwaters, control erosion, and to improve management of the easement. Learn more here.

You can learn more about floodplain easements in this Vermont NRCS fact sheet here which includes info on page 2 about a potential project in the Town of Huntington, impacted by the 2019 Halloween storm.

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VT NRCS Office Locations and Contact Information

EWP Information (National NRCS Website)