LINCOLN — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Nebraska is accepting requests for assistance through the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program to address watershed impairments resulting from the March “Bomb Cyclone” and associated flooding. Requests for assistance must be submitted to the NRCS State Conservationist in Nebraska by May 20, 2019.
“EWP is designed to install recovery measures to safeguard lives and property as a result of a natural disaster,” said Craig Derickson, NRCS Nebraska state conservationist. “We have teams out now completing damage survey reports. These reports help us understand the extent of the damage and the amount of funding needed for recovery work.”
Watershed impairments that the EWP program addresses include debris-clogged stream channels, scoured or eroded bridges, and undermined and/or unstable streambanks that pose an imminent threat to public infrastructure (i.e.: bridges, county roads, etc.).
EWP work is completed through a local project sponsor. EWP project sponsors must be a legal subdivision of state government such as a city, county, state agency, town, or a federally-recognized American Indian tribe or tribal organization.
“Generally, NRCS will pay up to 75 percent of the restoration costs. The project sponsor is responsible for the remaining balance of funding needs, which can include in-kind support. It’s important to note that any recovery measures already implemented by the sponsor or in process by the sponsor would not be eligible for reimbursement,” Derickson said.
Potential sponsors seeking assistance through EWP should work with their local USDA service center, which can be found at http://offices.usda.gov. For more information about the EWP Program, contact Allen Gehring, at (402) 437-4037.
— Natural Resources Conservation Service
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