The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Florida (NRCS in FL) is encouraging local and state governments to serve as sponsors and request Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) assistance to relieve imminent hazards to life and property caused by Hurricane Idalia.
Through EWP, NRCS provides assistance to local and state governments, for the cost of addressing watershed impairments or hazards such as debris removal and streambank stabilization. Eligible sponsors include state governments, cities, counties, towns, or any federally recognized Native American Tribe or Tribal organization.
“EWP provides immediate assistance to communities to mitigate potential hazards to life and property resulting from disasters and particularly the severe erosion and flooding that can occur following hurricanes,” said Walter Albarran, Acting State Conservationist for NRCS in Florida. “We can work with a local sponsor to help a damaged watershed so that lives and property are protected while preventing further devastation in the community.”
NRCS has set up an e-mail inbox so that potential sponsors may submit requests for EWP assistance. For efficiency, NRCS encourages sponsors to submit by email to: SM.FPAC.NRCS.FLEWP@USDA.GOV. A sample letter of request for EWP assistance is available for sponsors on the NRCS Florida EWP webpage.
The deadline for sponsors to request EWP assistance is October 29, 2023. For more information, sponsors can contact their local NRCS office.