USDA accepting applications for floodplain easements

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will accept applications through April 18 for landowners who want to enroll floodplains impacted by Hurricane Sandy into easements.

Funds are available for eligible landowners through the NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection Program – Floodplain Easements. In December, NRCS announced applicants from the first round who were selected for enrollment. Selected landowners are expected to put about 400 acres into perpetual, floodplain easements to help protect against future floods.

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 while making it more resilient to flooding, the agency said in a news release.

Applications that were not selected during the first sign-up will be submitted automatically for review again.

For information, call the NRCS office in Norwich at (860) 887-3604 or visit: www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/newsroom/releases/?cid=nrcs143_008225.

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