USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing up to $124.8 million in Emergency Watershed Protection Program-Floodplain Easement funding to help prevent damages from significant storm events in states affected by Hurricane Sandy. “Restoring these ecosystems ensures our lands are resilient to future threats and impacts,” saays Rick Ellsmore, NRCS State Conservationist in New Hampshire.
NRCS purchases the permanent easements on eligible lands and restores the area to natural conditions. The program allows NRCS to purchase a permanent easement on lands within floodplains that sustained damage from Sandy.
NRCS is accepting applications for EWP-FPE funding until Sept. 2. Funds are only available in counties affected by Hurricane Sandy and where a major disaster was declared pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.
Private lands are eligible if located in a floodplain, not subject to tidal influence or action from storm waves, and meet one of the following requirements:
•Damaged by flooding by Hurricane Sandy or at least twice in the past 10 years;
•Would contribute to restoration of flood storage and flow, provide for control of erosion, or improve the practical management of the floodplain easement;
•Could be inundated or adversely impacted as a result of a dam breach.
The program easements would be permanent. Lands with structures, such as homes, are eligible for enrollment as well as open or agricultural lands.
If a structure is present, NRCS will cost-share the removal or demolition of that structure and enroll the remaining lot in a permanent easement.
Contact your local USDA Service Center to learn more and submit an application. More details are also available on at NRCS floodplain easement website