While Hurricane Florence won’t affect all areas of the Southeast, it will some. But no matter when a natural disaster may strike, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) wants to landowners to know if your area suffers damage, the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) can help relieve imminent hazards to life and property. This includes damage caused by hurricanes, floods, windstorms and fires. Aid may include financial and technical assistance to remove debris from streams, protect destabilized stream banks and establish cover on critically eroding lands, repair conservation practices and purchase floodplain easements.
While public and private landowners are eligible for assistance, you must be represented by a project sponsor, like a city, county, conservation district or a Native American tribe or organization. NRCS provides technical assistance and pays up to 75 percent of the construction. Local sources contribute the remaining portion in the form of cash or in-kind services.
The process begins when the sponsor requests assistance from a local NRCS office. Staff visit the site and determine eligibility based on threats to life or property, environmental impacts and economic analysis, then request funding from the NRCS national office. If Congress appropriates funds, the sponsor enters into a cooperative agreement to complete the work.
To learn more contact your local NRCS office.