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USDA Extends Time to Request Emergency Watershed Protection Assistance After Hurricane Ian

Florida - Monday October 31: The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) in Florida announced it has granted a waiver to extend the time for a sponsor to request Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) assistance from 60 days to 120 days after Hurricane Ian.

The deadline for a sponsor to request assistance for Hurricane Ian is January 27, 2023.

A sample letter of request for EWP assistance is available for sponsors on the NRCS Florida website.

Through EWP, the NRCS provides assistance to local government sponsors for the cost of addressing watershed impairments or hazards such as debris removal and streambank stabilization.

Eligible sponsors include cities, counties, towns, or any federally recognized Native American Tribe or Tribal organization. Sponsors typically must submit a formal request (via mail or email) 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 become available. However, because of the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Ian, sponsors now have 120 days to apply. For more information, they should contact their local NRCS office.

“EWP provides immediate assistance to communities to mitigate potential hazards to life and property resulting from disasters and particularly the severe erosion and flooding that can occur following hurricanes,” said Juan C. Hernandez, State Conservationist for NRCS in Florida. “We can work with a local sponsor to help a damaged watershed so that lives and property are protected while preventing further devastation in the community.”