WASHINGTON, June 10, 2013 - Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service will send an additional $66.8 million in Emergency Watershed Protection Program funds to help disaster recovery efforts in 15 states.
"This funding will help communities implement much needed recovery projects to address watershed damage caused by floods, drought, hurricanes and other natural disasters that occurred in 2012 and 2013," Vilsack said.
NRCS's Emergency Watershed Program has successfully helped many communities recover from previous natural disasters across the country by providing on-site technical and financial assistance. This money will help implement all requested recovery projects that were in presidentially declared disaster areas. Examples of conditions qualifying for assistance include: debris-clogged stream channels, undermined and unstable stream banks, jeopardized water control structures and public infrastructures, and wind-borne debris removal.
The largest portion of the funds announced today will go to Colorado, which will receive more than $19 million for recovery from one of the worst fire seasons in the state's history. In 2012, more than 200,000 acres burned, taking more than 600 homes and other structures with them.
Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Mexico and Ohio will receive the rest of the funds.
In addition to this recovery funding, NRCS is responding to the recent Oklahoma tornados and has already allocated about $500,000 in emergency funding to begin work on sites that pose significant hazards.
For more information about USDA's Emergency Watershed Protection Program, click here.
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