NRCS Flood Mitigation Funding and Guidance



Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) Program

Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) Program provides technical and financial assistance to entities of State and local governments and Tribes (project sponsors) for planning and installing watershed projects that protect and restore watersheds up to 250,000 acres.

This program provides for cooperation between the Federal government and the states and their political subdivisions to work together to prevent erosion; floodwater and sediment damage; to further the conservation development, use and disposal of water; and to further the conservation and proper use of land in authorized watersheds.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers financial and technical assistance through this program for the following purposes:

  • Erosion and sediment control
  • Watershed protection
  • Flood prevention
  • Water quality Improvements
  • Rural, municipal and industrial water supply
  • Water management
  • Fish and wildlife habitat enhancement
  • Hydropower sources

Learn more, link to the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program

Additional Resources

Download A Guide to the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program: How Your Community Can Organize a Watershed Project provides details on technical and financial assistance through the Natural  Resources  Conservation  Service (NRCS).

Learn more, download the NRCS Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program Guide

National Watershed Program Manual and Handbook

National Watershed Program Manual 4th Edition 1st Amendment (PDF, 1.55 MB)
National Watershed Program Handbook (PDF, 2.4 MB)


The EWP Program Helps Communities and Landowners

Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program safeguards lives and property from floods, drought, and the products of erosion on any watershed whenever fire, flood or any other natural occurrence is causing or has caused a sudden impairment of the watershed.

The Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program, a federal emergency recovery program, helps local communities recover after a natural disaster strikes. The program offers technical and financial assistance to help local communities relieve imminent threats to life and property caused by floods, fires, windstorms and other natural disasters that impair a watershed.

The EWP Program allows communities to quickly address serious and long-lasting damages to infrastructure and to the land. The EWP Program authorities offer NRCS the flexibility to act quickly to help local communities cope with adverse impacts resulting from natural disasters. EWP does not require a disaster declaration by federal or state officials for program assistance to begin, but ultimately partial funding must be provided by the state Legislature. If funding becomes available, all funded projects must demonstrate they reduce threats to life and property; be economically, environmentally and socially sound; and must be designed to acceptable engineering standards, if applicable.

EWP Program Assistance

The EWP Program has two distinct options for assisting local communities and individual landowners — EWP Program-Recovery and EWPP-Floodplain Easements.  Click on this comparison page to see the difference between these two options.   

EWP Program Projects

NRCS offers financial and technical assistance for various activities under EWP Program – Recovery, including: 

  • Remove debris from stream channels, road culverts and bridges;
  • reshape and protect eroded streambanks;
  • correct damaged or destroyed drainage facilities;
  • establish vegetative cover on critically eroding lands;
  • repair levees and structures;       
  • repair conservation practices.

In addition to recovery projects, NRCS may purchase EWP floodplain easements instead of trying to recover damaged floodplain lands if it proves to be more cost effective than recovery.

Learn more, link to the EWP,


NRCS Easement Programs

NRCS offers easement programs to landowners who want to maintain or enhance their land in a way beneficial to agriculture and/or the environment.  All NRCS easement programs are voluntary.  We provide technical help and financial assistance, but local landowners and organizations are needed to make NRCS easement programs successful.

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land.  Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.

Learn more link to the NRCS Easement Program.