USDA provides funding for floodplain easements

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing up to $124.8 million in Emergency Watershed Protection Program-Floodplain Easement funding to help prevent damages from significant storm events in Connecticut and other states affected by Superstorm Sandy.

Floodplains store water, helping to protect lands downstream from future flood damage. When the health and integrity of the lands deteriorate, so do the environmental, economic, and social benefits they provide. NRCS purchases the permanent easements on eligible lands and restores the area to natural conditions. A healthy floodplain enhances fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, flood water retention, and ground water recharge.

The program complements traditional disaster recovery funding and allows NRCS to purchase a permanent easement on lands within floodplains that sustained damage from Sandy.

Applications will be accepted through Sept. 2. For information, visit:; or call the Norwich USDA Service center at (860) 887-3604 extension 307. Interested landowners can also contact Arthur Ramthun, EWP program manager, at (860) 871-4030 or; or Carol Donzella, EWP coordinator, at (203) 287-8038 extension 100, or

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