There are three Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Councils located in the Caribbean Area: the El Atlántico, El Caribe, and Virgin Islands RC&Ds. These RC&Ds are part of a national network of 375 RC&D Councils located in all 50 states and the U.S. territories. The El Atlántico and El Caribe RC&Ds serve about 3/4 of the island of Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands RC&D Council serves the entire U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island).
RC&D Councils effectively develop partnerships with governmental, non-governmental and private organizations, bringing together needed resources to get the job done! These alliances provide the necessary tools that allow each RC&D to accomplish its particular goals and objectives, giving local people the opportunity to solve their own problems. Additionally, RC&Ds are able to acquire technical and financial support from government agencies, private companies, foundations, institutions and individuals.
The El Atlántico, El Caribe, and Virgin Islands RC&Ds are independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations incorporated under local law.
What They Do
The El Atlántico, El Caribe, and Virgin Islands RC&Ds serve as frameworks for local individuals, groups, businesses, and units of government to cooperate regionally to meet common needs and tackle common problems. RC&Ds bring diverse groups of people together to work toward common goals. The Councils serve local sponsors by helping them locate potential technical and financial assistance sources as needed to implement projects.
Examples of RC&D Assistance
Rural Economic Development
Seek new or expanded markets for natural resource products.
Promote value-added industries.
Promote regional tourism.
Promote new cooperative opportunities.
Promote quality job creation.
Assist with establishing or strengthening local groups organized to address a specific resource problem.
Provide leadership development training.
Provide organizational capacity-building training.
Provide technical assistance to develop and implement locally-identified resource conservation and/or development projects such as pollution prevention, habitat protection, soil and water conservation, and trail development.
Help find and facilitate agency, organization, and private sector assistance.
Serve as clearinghouses of technical and financial assistance information.
Refer requests to the proper agency, organization, or private consultant.
Assist members, sponsors, partners and others to develop funding proposals to foundations, corporations, or government agencies.
Education and Outreach
Sponsor field days, tours, demonstrations, seminars and programs to help landowners and others learn more about managing their "bottom line" – dollars, jobs, products, resources (soil, water, air, plants, animals).
Provide natural resources and/or agricultural off-island training opportunities to youth, farmers and artisans.
Provide environmental education opportunities to youth and adults.
El Atlántico RC&D assisting PR coffee growers in developing a coffee classification system as the basis for a certification program.
NARC&DC Trainer Andrew Gordon leads "Two Cents" Capacity Building Training for Atlantico, Caribe and Virgin Islands RC&D Council members.
V.I. RC&D Council members planting rain garden at VI Waste Management Authority Greenhouse on St. Croix.
Virgin Islands youth attended 2010 Georgia Natural Resources Conservation Workshop through Urban & Community Forestry grant awarded to V.I. RC&D.
RC&D Council Executive Board
RC&D Councils are directed by action-oriented planning and decision-making Boards that lead local program efforts. Councils serve as a catalyst or "change agent" for the multi-county RC&D Areas. RC&D Councils are made up of elected and appointed leaders representing cities, counties, community or economic development organizations, interested individuals and conservation districts. Councils oversee the direction and operation of the El Atlántico, El Caribe, and Virgin Islands RC&Ds and work closely with project sponsors, government agencies, and other organizations.