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Gulf of Mexico Initiative - Farmers on the Frontline

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In a time of need, America’s private landowners voluntarily made conservation improvements to their land to aid recovery in the Gulf of Mexico region. Landowners are working with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to put conservation systems to work on their farms, ranches and forests that clean and conserve water, boost soil health and restore habitat – all while making their working lands more resilient.

From 2010 to 2014, tens of thousands of private landowners have made conservation improvements to 22 million acres in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, ultimately leading to cleaner water and healthier ecosystems in the Gulf and other waterways.

Following the oil spill, NRCS accelerated its efforts to work side-by-side with landowners to get conservation on the ground. NRCS created landscape-level efforts, like the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI) and Gulf of Mexico Initiative (GoMI), as part of the agency’s way to give landowners the tools they need to be stewards of the land.

NRCS has about 450 service centers with 1,700 staff members in the five Gulf states, where NRCS conservationists work side-by-side with landowners to make conservation improvements to their farms, ranches and forests. This on-the-ground expertise makes NRCS and their work with landowners an important part in helping the Gulf rebound. Watch conservation work in action.

To help broaden the reach of private lands conservation, NRCS partners with local, state and federal partners to find new conservation opportunities for private lands. Learn more about NRCS’ role on Gulf recovery councils and partnerships.

Farmers on the Frontline video on YouTube:

Protecting the Gulf
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map showing locations of NRCS contracts and easements in gulf states

Conservation Footprint
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map showing  nrcs landscape initiative work in gulf states

Landscape-Level Conservation Efforts
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Meet Stewardship-Minded Farmers

Meet a few farmers who are making voluntary conservation improvements to their farms and ranchers to aid recovery in the Gulf.

photo of tim mullek
Tim Mullek

photo of carolyn falgout
Carolyn Falgout

photo of david daigle
David Daigle

Meet NRCS Conservationists

Meet a few NRCS staff members who provide on-the-ground assistance to producers wanting to adopt conservation practices on their land.

Gulf Photo Stories

These photo stories share the stories of Gulf-area farmers and how they’re making a difference downstream.

Gulf Coast Oil Spill, five-year anniversary photogallery thumbnailTexas Farmers

One of the Snyder men stacking  hay bales Snider Family