Emergency Watershed Protection Program


The objective of the EWP Program is to assist sponsors, landowners, and operators in implementing emergency recovery measures for runoff retardation and erosion prevention to relieve imminent hazards to life and property created by a natural disaster that causes a sudden impairment of a watershed.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants; Z - Salaries and Expenses
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, Title III, Part Subtitle H, Section 382, Public Law 104-127, 16 U.S.C. 2203, Statute 110,1016
Agricultural Credit Act of 1978, Section 403, Public Law 95-334, 33 U.S.C. 701B-1
Section 216 of the Flood Control Act of 1950, Section 216, Public Law 81-516, 33 U.S.C. 701b
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5, Statute 123,117
Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, Public Law 115-123
Additional Supplemental Appropriation for Disaster Relief Act of 2019, Public Law 116-20
Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Public Law 117-58
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Public and private landowners are eligible for assistance but must be represented by a project sponsor. Project sponsor means a State government or a State agency or a legal subdivision thereof, local unit of government, or any Native American tribe or tribal organization as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b), with a legal interest in or responsibility for the values threatened by a watershed emergency; is capable of obtaining necessary land rights, and permits; and is capable of carrying out any operation and maintenance responsibilities that may be required. Sponsors are also responsible for furnishing the local cost share and for accomplishing the installation of work. Work can be done either through Federal or local contracts. Emergency watershed protection is authorized in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Sponsors must submit a formal request to the State Conservationist for assistance within 60 days of the natural disaster occurrence, or 60 days from the date when access to the sites becomes available. Requests must include a statement that the sponsors understand their responsibilities and are willing to pay its cost-shared percentage as well as information pertaining to the natural disaster, including the nature, location, and scope of the problems and the assistance needed.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Potential sponsors submit formal requests for assistance to the NRCS state conservationist.
Award Procedure
Project sponsors seeking EWP assistance must apply to the STC in writing within 60 days of the natural disaster occurrence. Project sponsors may use SF 424 Application for Federal Assistance but must ensure that following information is provided: (1) A description of the problems encountered; (2) Assistance needed, including the following: Nature of the problem; Location; Scope of the problem; Commitment by the sponsor to assume the following responsibilities: local cost-share; Land rights; acquisition; Permits; Operations and Maintenance (O and M), A statement indicating that funds have either been exhausted or are insufficient to provide adequate recovery measures from the applicable hazards; A statement identifying any other State or Federal funding received or application submitted. On receipt of a formal request for EWP assistance, the State Conservationist or designee shall immediately investigate the emergency situation to determine whether EWP is applicable and to prepare an initial cost estimation for submission to the NRCS Chief or designee. The cost estimation will be submitted no later than 60 days from receipt of the formal request from the sponsor. NRCS may not commit funds until notified by the Chief, or designee, of the availability of funds. Before the release of financial assistance, NRCS will enter into a Cooperative Agreement with a sponsor that specifies the responsibilities of the sponsor under this part, including any required operation and maintenance responsibilities. NRCS will not provide funding for activities undertaken by a sponsor prior to the signing of the agreement between NRCS and the sponsor.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Timeline is dependent upon when funding is appropriated. The EWP program is not a line-item funded program and is reliant upon emergency supplemental appropriations.
Only NRCS decisions relating to eligibility for the EWP Program can be appealed. These decisions may be appealed in accordance with 7 CFR Part 614 and 7 CFR 11, as applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
EWP projects are eligible when it is determined that the current condition of the land or watershed impairment poses a threat to health, life, and property. Assistance includes EWP practices that provide runoff retardation and soil erosion prevention, safeguard lives and property, and relieve an imminent threat that is a result of a sudden impairment of a watershed due to a natural disaster.
How may assistance be used?
All EWP work must reduce threats to life and property and must be economically, environmentally, and socially defensible and sound from a technical standpoint. NRCS may bear up to 75 percent (90 percent within limited resource areas as identified by the U.S. Census data) of the construction cost of emergency measures. The remaining 25 percent (10 percent within limited resource areas) must come from local sources as cash or in-kind services.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Records of operation are maintained for the life of the project.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. 25%. NRCS may bear up to 75 percent (90 percent within limited resource areas as identified by the US Census data) of the construction cost of emergency measures. The remaining 25 percent (10 percent within limited resource areas) must come from local sources as cash or in-kind services.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Continues until all EWP Program recovery measures are installed or their installation is terminated by mutual agreement. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Lump.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
For more information on this and other related conservation programs, consult the local telephone directory where your land is located for the location of the nearest USDA service center. For a list of NRCS State offices with telephone numbers and addresses, information is available on the internet at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/.
Headquarters Office
Ralph Smith, Acting Branch Chief, Watershed Programs
United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Conservation Planning & Technical Assistance Division

1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250 US
Phone: 202-819-6587
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Salaries and Expenses) FY 22$13,065,134.00; FY 23 est $74,565,966.00; FY 24 est $4,000,000.00; FY 21$33,647,350.00; FY 20$32,410,306.00; FY 19$37,759,139.00; FY 18$22,295,839.00; FY 17$14,480,000.00; FY 16$16,384,000.00; - (Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 22$211,126,244.00; FY 23 est $87,677,929.00; FY 24 est $20,000,000.00; FY 21$201,530,840.00; FY 20$220,531,834.00; FY 19$276,159,061.00; FY 18$181,198,198.00; FY 17$122,334,000.00; FY 16$98,779,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Not applicable/available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR Part 624; National Emergency Watershed Protection Program Manual.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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