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United States Department of Agriculture


Fred Reaves - National Program Manager
USDA NRCS, Washington DC

What Is The Emergency

Watershed Protection Program?
The Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program
was set up by Congress to respond to emergencies
created by natural disasters. It is designed to relieve
imminent hazards to life and property caused by
floods, fires, windstorms, and other natural
occurrences. The purpose of EWP is to help groups of
people with a common problem. It is generally not
an individual assistance program.

Financial Assistance Available?
NRCS may bear up to 75 percent of the cost of
emergency measures or up to 90 percent in limited
resource areas. The remaining cost-share must come
from local sponsor and can be in the form of cash or inkind services.

Limited Resource Area CostShare

Criteria for Limited Resource Status
Up to 90% based on:
housing valuesless than 75% of State value
per capita income75% or less than national average
unemploymentat least twice the national average over a 3 year
and all 3 criteria must be met
Individuals, households, or landowner cannot qualify for limited resource
status, only counties and parishes, and in some cases, communities

Eligible Sponsors
State Government
Local units or subdivisions of state government
Other government entities (i.e., SWCDs, daring
boards, levee boards, etc.)
Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations

Sponsors Responsibilities
Ability to provide local share of construction costs
Responsible for operation & maintenance
Ability to obtain land rights
Ability to acquire permits

Eligible Impairment

Eligible Impairments
Other impairments
Volcanic activity
Ice storms
Drought (as pertaining to wildfires to remove
potential fuel loads)

Eligible Criteria

Reduce threat to life or property

Economically defensible
Alleviates sudden watershed impairment

Eligible Measures
Debris Removal


Eligible Measures



Eligible Measures


Critical Area

Eligible Measures



Eligible Measures

PL 78-534 &


Eligible Measures


Ice Damage

NRCS EWP Program

Success Stories

NRCS - NY Tribal
EWP Assistance
Recent EWP Assistance to Limited Resource Area in New York

NY - EWP Assistance
(Limited Resource Area)
EWP Program
Seneca National of Indians - 2
projects in response to flooding
and erosive channel flows
2009 and 2010 (completed in
2010 and 2011)
$100K and $164K respectively
Including Tribal Employment
Rights Ordinance (TERO)
compliance - new experience for

Map of Federally Recognized

Tribes in NY
Sovereign Territory Boundaries Not
Locations are approximate for
display purposes
Seneca Nation of Indians
Tonawanda Seneca Nation
Tuscarora Nation
Cayuga Nation
Oneida Indian Nation
Onondaga Nation
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
Shinnecock Nation

EWP Assistance to Seneca

Nation of Indians contd
25-28 December 2008 - Rainfall and snowmelt over 4 day period
causing significant erosion and debris accumulation in local
7-10 August 2009 - Rainfall and runoff over 4 day period causing
significant erosion and debris accumulation in local streams
threatening homes, roads, bridges, business in and immediate
threat to human life.
Major debris jams were contributing to serious bank erosion and
significant flooding. Removal of the debris jams reduced future
flooding and channel bank erosion.

EWP Assistance to Seneca

Nation of Indians contd
People Impacted

2,180 native Americans

Benefits Included
Protection of:
Public building, 26 private buildings, 2 bridges
Debris removed 7,000 feet
Roads protected 2,100 feet
Stream bank stabilized 12,225 feet
Lands protected 17.6 acres
Economic Protection
$28,000,000 (roads, property, business loss)

EWP Assistance
Recent EWP Assistance to Limited Resource Area in Fort Yukon, Alaska

AK - EWP Assistance
(Limited Resource Area)
EWP Program

Fort Yukon, Alaska one agreement was signed to repair

or rebuild a protective measure for the tank farm out of
the erosion zone and relocate to a protected site.

EWP Assistance to Fort

Yukon, Alaska contd
Flood Ice Jam
May 2009 Ice jam caused massive flooding
removing a spur dike system and opened a fuel
tank farm to the river.
Caused potential river contamination and
threatened subsistence fisheries for the tribes
along the river.

EWP Assistance to Fort

Yukon, Alaska contd
People Impacted
615 residences
Benefits Included
Old tank farm removed
1 utility protected
Sole fuel supply and subsistence fisheries protected

Catastrophic fuel spill into Yukon River prevented

Economic Protection
NRCS $10,112,233
Local sponsor $2,513,127

EWP Summary
Must be an imminent threat to life and property as a
result of a natural disaster
Must alleviate a sudden impairment to the
Must be economically defensible
Must have a sponsor, except floodplain easements

United States Department of Agriculture

If You Have Questions, Please Contact

Your Local offices of the Natural Resources
Conservation Service at

An Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer

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