Emergency Watershed assistance available through NRCS

Monday, October 31, 2011

Columbia, MO -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program assistance to landowners affected by recent Missouri River flooding.

EWP is the USDA's primary method of providing financial and technical assistance for repairing measures damaged by floods and other natural occurrences.

Federal funds for EWP assistance may cover up to 75 percent of the construction costs for most restoration measures including levee repair, logjam removal, streambank stabilization near roads, bridges and buildings and sediment removal from drainage ditches.

"We encourage those affected by the flood to meet with their local NRCS representatives and apply for EWP in order to assess the needs of our state,"

Harold Deckerd, Assistant State Conservationist for Water Resources said. "At this time, we are unsure of what funds will be available for EWP, but it is important for us to have a clear understanding of how many potential projects there are in Missouri."

EWP work is limited to measures necessary to reduce threats to a stable condition and only to return the site to its original condition, prior to the event.

To be eligible for EWP assistance, measures must be economically, socially and environmentally defensible and technically sound. Additionally, all EWP projects must have a local sponsor, which include any legal subdivision of state government or a state agency. Cities, counties, levee districts anddrainage districts are all acceptable local sponsors.

For further information on EWP, please visit http://www.mo.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ewp/ewp.html or contact the local NRCS office serving your county. In Saline County you can call (660) 886-7447.