Erosion control grants serve a useful purpose for reducing water pollution caused by erosion. Grants are available for individuals, organizations and communities to reduce the impact of soil erosion and lower the risk of flooding. Other grants target wind erosion or recovery from natural disasters. You will also find grants to assist with watershed planning to prevent erosion issues before they occur. A watershed is the area drained by a body of water, such as a river or stream.
The type of assistance will vary with the grant. Some grants will provide technical assistance for landowners to manage shorelines or wetlands better. They may offer financial assistance to cover all or a portion of the costs. Other erosion control grants focus on planning and development of watersheds to ensure that future problems with soil erosion do not occur. The form of assistance will reflect the specific needs of the location and the particular project.
Part of the expectations with applying for an erosion control grant is that you will have identified a project. Grant applications will provide precise guidelines. You will need to specify some kind of budget and reporting system. Sample projects may include planting buffer strips alongside shorelines to anchor the soil in place. Other projects may involve replacing impervious surfaces like sidewalks with native plantings to help control flooding and soil erosion. Some projects may have a specific focus, such as removal of a dam or clean-up of an abandoned industrial site.
When you apply for an erosion control grant, you will likely be making a long-term commitment. The assistance provided by the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) requires a 10- to 15-year commitment on the part of the landowner. Erosion control projects often take time before results are evident. Plants or trees need time to become established. Checks on water quality can determine how successful the project has been to reduce sedimentation or runoff caused by soil erosion. The provisions of the grant will require detailed reports, and you will be expected to stay within the allocated monies.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides several types of grants focusing on flood control and soil erosion prevention. The Soil and Water Conservation grant provide landowners as well as organizations technical assistance through all stages of planning and implementation. Its Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention program provides assistance to communities and to state and county agencies for natural resource management. State conservation agencies will also assist landowners with erosion control projects. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources provides loans for erosion control for designated Coastal Erosion Areas along Lake Erie. With assistance available, landowners can control their environmental impact and make better planning choices.