Shade-grown coffee helps protect water quality and coral reefs like this one in Puerto Rico. NOAA photo.
I work for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency that helps farmers voluntarily implement conservation practices on their lands across the U.S.—including land on my home, Puerto Rico.
I am extremely proud of recent NRCS efforts here to help farmers, ranchers and landowners make significant strides in conserving the Guánica Bay/Rio Loco watershed. This watershed, which is about 100 miles southwest of San Juan, is one of the most diverse and complex in Puerto Rico. Read more »
For more than 45 years, people who lived in West Virginia’s Dunloup Creek Watershed have dealt with floods. That’s because there’s a scarcity of flat land in the area and residents have had to settle mostly along the creek—the very area that floods during storms.
Two major floods in 2001 and 2004 devastated five low-income communities spread out across two counties in the watershed. The floods destroyed houses, ate away at the stream bank, polluted drinking water and washed away utilities. Damages totaled millions of dollars.
Because of the mountainous terrain and far-flung population, traditional flood control measures like dams, channels, floodwalls, dredging and flood proofing were not feasible. Yet many residents were trapped into living in their damaged homes, unable to move out because of perilous financial circumstances. Read more »
Jugita Krilaviciute, left, works the soil during the Vail Resorts Hayman Restoration Project in the Trail Creek drainage on Thursday, June 2, 2011. The Vail Resorts Hayman Restoration Project is in the second of a three year, $750,000 partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and The Rocky Mountain Field Institute to restore lands damaged by the 2002 Hayman wildfire, the largest in Colorado's history. (Vail Resorts Photo/ Peter M. Fredin)
The Hayman Fire was the largest and most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s history. On June 8, 2002, the fire began raging through the Pike National Forest, as well as state, county and private lands, burning a total of 137,760 acres. Read more »
Stovall Farms is the oldest farm in Coahoma County, Mississippi, and it still owned and operated by the same family.
Preventing fertilizer from rushing into a nearby bayou is not rocket science, but it does take a dedicated farmer and Pete Hunter of Stovall Farms is one of those dedicated Mississippi farmers.
Last month Pete spoke with the Mississippi River/ Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force when they toured his farm in Coahoma County, telling them about the steps Stovall Farms has taken to lower its environmental footprint. Read more »
Mike Whitis, left, Benton County NRCS district conservationist, and Craig Oliphnant discuss the operation of Oliphnant’s new livestock watering tank.
The hot, dry Arkansas summer last year affected cattle farmers across Arkansas. But thanks to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Illinois River Sub-Basin and Eucha-Spavinaw Lake Watershed Initiative, Craig and Jay Oliphnant’s operation has been able to effectively weather the drought. Read more »
The Chesapeake Bay Program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently announced this year’s recipients of the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants. This year, the program will provide about $3 million in funding, with the Forest Service contributing $300,000. Read more »