The United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering more than $ 9 million to restore flood-prone lands in 69 Missouri counties.

In response to flooding in Missouri and across the country, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced on Monday the availability of $9 million to fund conservation easements in 69 Missouri counties damaged by flooding and other natural disasters.

Funds are available through the floodplain easement component of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP-FPE). NRCS field offices are accepting applications through Oct. 18.

Through the EWP-FPE program, eligible applicants voluntarily agree to sell a permanent conservation easement to the United States through NRCS. Compensation is based on the value of the easement as determined by an appraisal or market analysis. These easements may occur on public or private agricultural land or residential properties damaged by flooding and natural disasters. 

NRCS will work to restore the easement to its natural floodplain condition.

The eligible Missouri counties are: Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Barry, Barton, Bates, Bollinger, Buchanan, Caldwell, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Clark, Cole, Dade, Dallas, Daviess, Douglas, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Hickory, Holt, Howell, Jackson, Jasper, Knox, Laclede, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Maries, Marion, McDonald, Mercer, Miller, Mississippi, Monroe, Montgomery, New Madrid, Newton, Nodaway, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Pike, Platte, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Shannon, Shelby, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Sullivan, Taney, Texas, Vernon, Wayne, Webster and Wright.

“Landowners across Missouri have faced—and continue to face—significant challenges from flooding and natural disasters,” Missouri NRCS State Conservationist J.R. Flores says. “To provide relief and assist agricultural landowners during this difficult time, this easement program offers an option that alleviates the stress of operating in a floodplain while still retaining ownership of their property.”

Missouri landowners can contact their local NRCS field offices to apply or learn more about floodplain easement opportunities.

Visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/mo/programs/easements/ for more information about NRCS easement programs.