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Aerial view of farmed wetlands in Río Grande, Puerto Rico.

Conservation Compliance in the Caribbean

NRCS Caribbean Area provides technical assistance and determinations to help our clients comply with the Highly Erodible Land (HEL) Conservation and Wetland Conservation provisions of the Farm Bill.

Caribbean Area Highly Erodible Land (HEL) Summary Map - 2020

In order to maintain eligibility for most USDA programs, farmers must comply with the Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions in the Farm Bill, agreeing they will not:

  • Produce an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land without an adequate conservation system;
  • Plant an agricultural commodity on a converted wetland;
  • Convert a wetland to make possible the production of an agricultural commodity.

Given the geographical differences of wetlands, soils, and climate within and between our islands, information and technical resources specific to Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands implementation of the Farm Bill's HEL and Wetlands conservation provisions are provided in the map and documents below.

Highly Erodible Land Soils Lists

Lists the soils that can erode at an excessive rate from either water or wind because of inherent soil properties.

Humacao-PR-HEL-list (150.47 KB)
LajasPR-HEL-list (147.35 KB)


Caribbean HEL and Wetlands Conservation Fact Sheets

  • State Offsite Methods (SOSM) for Wetland Determinations (Used to make wetland determinations and delineations on agricultural lands utilizing a variety of data, including aerial imagery and other resource inventory data)
  • Wetland Conservation Provision Job Approval Authority (List of Agency experts that possess the requisite training, knowledge, skills, and abilities to issue technical determinations and decisions)
  • Wetlands and Conservation Compliance

Manuel Matos Rodríguez

State Soil Scientist and Wetlands Team Lead

Employee Directory

Caribbean Wetlands Team Members
Name Position Phone Number Email
Edrick Marrero
State Agronomist (plants and agronomy)
Samuel Ríos
Mayagüez MLRA Soil Survey Leader (soils, hydrology and soil survey hydric criteria)
Jayson Más
Resource Conservationist (compliance)
Rolando Collazo
Civil Engineer (lateral effects, hydrology tools and wetland restoration)