DC, March 9, 2005 (ENS): Agriculture Secretary
Mike Johanns has announced $6.9 million in Emergency
Watershed Protection Program (EWP) funding to help Southern
California recover from severe storms and flooding that
hit the state in February.
"The Bush Administration has made prevention efforts
and assisting the long-term recovery in areas impacted
by devastating natural disasters a priority," said
Johanns on Tuesday. "These emergency funds will
provide technical and financial assistance to help restore
damaged watersheds and rebuild local communities."
Severe storms and an unusually wet season for California
caused flooding and unstable hillsides to collapse in
landslides and mudflows. Areas previously burned by
wildfires have been especially vulnerable, the USDA
The $6.9 million in funding will be spent on two projects
in Ventura County that need immediate attention along
Santa Paula Creek and at the Santa Paula Airport where
mudflows and flooding caused damage to the infrastructure.
This is in addition to $1.2 million for emergency environmental
restoration work in California that the USDA provided
Through EWP, the Agriculture Department's Natural Resources
Conservation Service works with local project sponsors
to help people reduce imminent hazards to life and property
caused by floods, fires, drought, earthquakes, tornados
and other natural disasters.
Rehabilitation efforts will provide sound erosion control
measures that are economically and environmentally defensible.
EWP measures include removing debris, reshaping and
protecting eroding banks, repairing levees and reseeding
Information on NRCS natural disaster assistance in
California can be found at: http://www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov.