NRCS recognizes conservation efforts for National Estuaries Week
Voluntary conservation improves the health and quality of the water that flows downstream.
NRCS works with landowners and other partners to install conservation practices on private lands that lead to cleaner water downstream, including the nation’s estuaries.
This week, NRCS is joining Restore America’s Estuaries and partners to celebrate National Estuary Week to promote conservation of private, agricultural lands for cleaner water flowing into estuaries, better overall health for fisheries and other wildlife and sustainable production of food and fiber.
Estuaries are created when the inflows of both sea water and fresh water combine, creating an incredibly productive ecosystem with high levels of nutrients in both the water column and sediment. These natural wonders protect landowners from flood waters and provide important buffers that protect water quality by filtering runoff.
NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to landowners wanting to improve water quality through practices such as nutrient management, erosion control, irrigation efficiency, and conservation tillage. These practices all lead to cleaner water flowing downstream into our nations waterways.
For example, NRCS in the Caribbean Area (CB) is working with the San Juan Bay Estuary Program (Programa del Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan) to reclaim land and reforest lots and roadsides in the watershed. NRCS-CB staff are helping local government, community organization and community members to identify areas along Avenue Ponce de Leon where wildlife gardens will be established, providing tree planting advice and information, and locating bare lots that can be reclaimed for community or “People’s” gardens.
NRCS is also helping San Juan area schools and communities to establish vegetable and wildlife gardens, including Escuela Labra in Santurce, Huerto Comunitario Las Monjas in Santurce, Academia Primaria in Rio Piedras, Huerto Casero outdoor classroom, as well as the People's Garden at the Governor's mansion in La Fortaleza!
“The voluntary work of private landowners in the San Juan Bay watershed (Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan) is leading to healthier waterways downstream,” State Conservationist Edwin Almodóvar said.
NRCS is a leader in conservation and restoration of estuaries in the U.S., especially in the Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River Basin, and the Bay-Delta regions. Through landscape initiative work, NRCS is helping provide cleaner water with great overall downstream benefits to shoreline ecosystems and wildlife habitat.
To find out how you can install conservation practices on your land that will not only benefit you, but your local ecosystem, contact your local NRCS field office.