In the wake of recent California flooding, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is meeting with landowners and other agencies to assess damages and offer technical and financial assistance where possible.
Assistance programs through NRCS include the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
“EWP allows us to provide immediate assistance to communities to mitigate potential hazards to life and property resulting from flooding and erosion,” said Greg Norris, NRCS California acting state conservation engineer. “It is work we can do with a local sponsor to help mitigate erosion so that lives and property are protected and additional hardships are not heaped upon the devastated community.”
The program requires local government bodies or others to sponsor on-the-ground work including concrete barriers and streambank protection, mulching, and other damage control measures.
Potential sponsors seeking assistance should do so through their local USDA service center http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=CA .
Landowner Technical Assistance
NRCS may also be able to provide technical and educational assistance to landowners faced with erosion and flooding in a damaged watershed. Agency conservationists have expertise in erosion, drainage and the use of measures (such as sand bags, mulching etc.) to mitigate damage to the landscape.
EQIP can provide long-term support to repair erosion on agricultural lands such as gullies, streams, or hillsides. NRCS takes applications on an ongoing basis throughout the year and encourage interested landowners to contact their local offices for more information.
For more information on available NRCS assistance, contact a local field office, or visit www.usda.gov.
NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America’s private landowners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935.