USDA-NRCS Offers Help to PR, USVI Communities With an Emergency Watershed Protection Program

USDA-NRCS: United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP) helps communities to restore damaged and destroyed infrastructure after severe storms. NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to local Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands municipalities and agencies to relieve imminent threats to life and property through the following activities under the EWPP Recovery Program:

remove debris from stream channels, road culverts and bridges;

reshape and protect eroded stream banks;

correct damaged drainage facilities;

establish vegetative cover on critically eroding lands;

repair levees and structures; and

repair conservation practices.

NRCS works with land stewards, landowners and local government agencies to assess and implement conservation practices in priority areas. Partners include municipalities, conservation districts and local government agencies. NRCS also works with FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers to provide technical support to effectively address local needs. It also works with potential sponsors to conduct outreach and discuss each individual municipality’s priorities.

Community leaders interested in participating in EWPP should contact Yilia Baucage-Bou, NRCS Caribbean Area state conservation engineer, at [email protected] or 787-342-6916 for more information or visit www.pr.nrcs.usda.gov.