United States Department of Agriculture

NATIONAL EMERGENCY WATERSHED PROTECTION (EWP)
PROGRAM
Fred Reaves - National Program Manager
USDA – NRCS, Washington DC
301-504-1699

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.

Is
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 values……less than 75% of State value
per capita income……75% or less than national average
unemployment……at least twice the national average over a 3 year
period
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

Sponsor’s 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
Earthquakes
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

cont’d

Eligible Measures

cont’d

Streamban
k
Stabilizatio
n

Eligible Measures

cont’d

Critical Area
Treatment

Eligible Measures

Levee
Repair

cont’d

Eligible Measures

PL 78-534 &
83-566
Structure
Repair

cont’d

Eligible Measures

cont’d

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
NRCS-NY

Map of Federally Recognized
Tribes in NY
Sovereign Territory Boundaries Not
Shown
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 cont’d
Storm
25-28 December 2008 - Rainfall and snowmelt over 4 day period
causing significant erosion and debris accumulation in local
streams.
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 cont’d
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)
Cost

NRCS – AK
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 cont’d
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 cont’d
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
$7,000,000
Cost
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
watershed
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
www.nrcs.usda.gov

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