Emergency Watershed Protection

Emergency Watershed Protection Program

Dan USDA-NRCS, Water


With Hurricane Dorian working its way up the Eastern Coast, and the fact we are nearing the peak of the 2019 Hurricane Season, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) wants to remind landowners should your area suffer damage from a natural disaster, their Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) can help relieve imminent hazards to life and property caused by not only hurricanes, but also floods, fires and windstorms. Aid can 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 flood plain easements.


Public and private landowners are eligible for assistance, but must be represented by a project sponsor. That sponsor can be your local 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.

So if your area suffers damage from a natural disaster, the process starts when the sponsor requests assistance from a local NRCS office. Their staff will 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 about available USDA disaster assistance, visit farmers.gov/recover