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Conservation Showcase

Jose Esteban Maldonado-080417-Mercado Agricola y Artesanal el Sabado 12 de Agosto en el Parque Verdes Sombras UPR Cayey

NRCS Supports Local Youth Project "Aprendiendo Haciendo"

As part of our focus to put conservation on the ground in the underserved communities of Puerto Rico; NRCS is engaged in helping to develop the future of agriculture on the Island. Read more...


Manuel Matos, Christian Torres, José Victor Jemenez and Silmarie Padrón plant a native tree seedling at Founcación Luis Muñoz Marin.

NRCS Caribbean Area Leaders in Action to Celebrate Earth Month! (PDF, 378 KB) / ¡Equipo de líderes de NRCS Área del Caribe en acción! (PDF, 381 KB)

On April 18, 2017, to actively celebrate Earth month, the NRCS Caribbean Area leadership team left their desks behind and volunteered to plant native species at the Luis Muñoz Marín Foundation offices in San Juan. Read more...

USDA-NRCS (por sus siglas en inglés) provee asistencia a los agricultores en Puerto Rico y las Islas Vírgenes Americanas para su desempeño en la conservación de los recursos naturales. El 18 de abril de 2017, el grupo de líderes del NRCS Área del Caribe quiso reciprocar y celebrar el mes del planeta tierra de una forma más activa, dejando a tras sus escritorios en la Oficina Estatal y llevando a cabo una siembra de especie nativa en la Fundacion Luis Muñoz Marín. Lee más...


coffee plant

Transitioning to Shade Coffee to Protect Puerto Rico's Endangered Wildlife (PDF, 577 KB)

Caribbean Area NRCS is helping Puerto Rico’s farmers to convert their sun-grown coffee plantations to shade-grown plantations to protect, enhance and conserve soil, water and wildlife habitat.  The Shade-Grown Coffee Initiative is a partnership project between NRCS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and EnviroSurvey, Inc., a non-governmental organization (NGO). Read more...


Earth Team Volunteer, Génesis Tua, compiles soil health information folders for upcoming workshops - May 2016.

NRCS Caribbean Area Celebrates Our Earth Team Volunteers!

In celebration of National Volunteer Week, NRCS Caribbean Area held an awards ceremony to honor our 16 fiscal year 2016 Earth Team volunteers on Friday, April 15th at the Mayagüez Field Office. Read more...


PR Women in Agriculture Success Story - Eng. Lydia Collazo visits Marilyn Rosas farm in June2015

Civil Rights Success Story: Conversations with Women in Agriculture (PDF, 642 KB) / Historias de Éxito: Mujeres en Agricultura (PDF, 583 KB)

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we recognize the achievements of four women customers and partners who have been leaders in conserving Puerto Rico’s natural resources. Read more...

Cada Marzo celebramos el Mes Histórico de las Mujeres, y nos gustaría cerrar el periodo de celebración de este año honrando a varias mujeres que son excelentes ejemplos en la agricultura. Deseamos reconocer los logros de cuatro clientas y colaboradoras quienes han sido líderes en la conservación de los recursos naturales de Puerto Rico. Leer mas...


Completed Río Loco Bio-Engineering Project in Las Latas Community, Guánica, PR.

Río Loco / Guánica Bay Watershed Bioengineering Project

Guánica Bay’s coral reefs are being buried by sediment from the Loco River Basin, where eroding agricultural land and river banks lose tons of sediment to the sea each year. Riverbank erosion along the Río Loco has eaten away large sections of agricultural land, changing the course of the river. Sediment transported downstream after each rain event is deposited into Guánica Bay, smothering coral reefs, seagrass beds and other aquatic ecosystems. NRCS has calculated that as much as 6,000 tons of sediment per year were eroding from the two largest segments of Río Loco’s failing river banks. Read more...


Can you imagine life without healthy Soil? Neither can we.

Promoting Soil Health in the Caribbean Area (PDF, 527 KB) / La promoción de la salud del suelo en el Área del Caribe (PDF, 886 KB)

Improving soil health on our limited and threatened agricultural land provides many benefits to farmers. It improves water quality, increases soil water availability, enhances nutrient cycling, and increases soil carbon sequestration. All while meeting farm production needs with better quality, less energy use and reduced chemical and pesticide inputs. Read More...

Cuando mejoramos la salud de nuestros terrenos agrícolas, tan limitados, nuestros agricultores se benefician porque se mejora la calidad y cantidad del agua disponible, el ciclo de nutrientes y se aumenta la materia orgánicaen el suelo. De esta manera el rendimiento de sus cosechas aumenta, a la vez que reducen el uso de fertilizantes, plaguicidas y el consumo de agua de riego. Leer mas...


Hormigueros Housing Community with their new Peoples Garden

Building Community Gardens through USDA StrikeForce (PDF, 434 KB)

Many rural communities in Puerto Rico have become distressed, with rough environments, lack of economic opportunity and lack of healthy, fresh food. Under the USDA StrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity, USDA agencies partnered with local Soil Conservation Districts to increase participation rates in the Puerto Rico Summer Food Program and to foment food security, natural resource conservation and agricultural development in underserved, rural communities. Read more...


Huertos Comunitarios a Través de USDA StrikeForce (PDF, 413 KB)

Muchas comunidades rurales de Puerto Rico han llegado a ser afligidos, con ambientes adversos, la falta de oportunidades económicas y la falta de alimentos sanos y frescos. Bajo la Iniciativa USDA StrikeForce para el crecimiento rural y la oportunidad, las agencias adscritas al USDA asociaron con los Distritos de Conservación de Suelos locales para aumentar las tasas de participación en el Programa de Alimentos de Verano Puerto Rico y fomentar la seguridad alimentaria, la conservación de los recursos naturales y el desarrollo agrícola en las comunidades marginadas, y rurales. Leer mas...


NRCS Agronomist, Mario Rodríguez (in hat) helps Alturas de Peñuelas youth & adults plant tire garden
Los Muertos Creek, Caguas, after EWP stabilization completed to repair Hurricane Irene damages.

Hurricane Irene Recovery - Emergency Watershed Projects (EWP) Completed (PDF, 285 KB)

Hurricane Irene hit Puerto Rico on August 21, 2011 with 75 mph winds and pummeled the island with torrential rainfall up to 3 days after, causing widespread damage from flooding, severe erosion and landslides. After President Obama signed an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico, NRCS provided disaster assistance to six (6) local communities that suffered damage to watershed areas. Through the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program, NRCS helped clear and stabilize streambanks in these communities to reduce threats to life and property from watershed damage from erosion, debris, and sediment. Read More...


Edwin-Distrito-Oeste-y-Myrna-th The Re-emergence of Puerto Rico’s Conservation Districts

Puerto Rico's Conservation Districts were born in 1947 and actively worked to promote conservation on the island until around 2004, when they lost their State Committee Executive Secretary.  Now, ten years later, the Conservation Districts are ready to take on a new millenium. Read More...
RCPP project - flooding in Yabucoa Agriculture Reserve

Revival of Puerto Rico’s Este SWCD Spurs Move to Secure RCPP Funds

After years of inactivity, a group of farmers and former district supervisors begun a journey to re-activate the Este Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) in early April 2014 that culminated last week with the award of a $700,000 Resource Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) grant to reduce severe and prolonged flooding (right), re-channel flood waters to Río Guayanés, eliminate stagnant water ponding and improve water quality in the Yabucoa valley watershed. Read more...


Agriculture Valley Flooding

Combating Climate Change in the Caribbean Area (PDF, 194 KB)

The Caribbean Area NRCS is helping to combat Climate Change by adopting and implementing several initiatives to improve farm energy efficiency and increase carbon sequestration. Converting land to forest, grassland or other perennial vegetation helps remove carbon from the atmosphere. Likewise, reducing on-farm energy use reduces greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. Additionally, NRCS is an active member of the USDA Caribbean Climate Sub Hub. Read more...


Jose V. Fabre showing Canavalia ensiformis, on his banana plantation in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico.

Young Farmers Plan ahead with COVER CROPS

Puerto Rican farmers, Jose V. Fabre and Duamed Colón, have been saving energy, water, time and money by growing Canavalia ensiformis (sword bean) and Crotalaria juncea (Sunn hemp) cover crops with their banana and plantain crops. Read more...


Hope-Carton Rain Garden 3 months after installation, Jan-2013

St. Croix East End Watershed Restoration: Hope & Carton Hill Rain Garden

The Hope and Carton Hill / Yellow Cliffs residential area lies in the upper reaches of the Solitude watershed on the East End of St. Croix. These neighborhoods have almost 5 miles of very steep, mountainous, unpaved roads. The roads are deeply rutted and have many gullies, and erode and carry storm water and large amounts of sediment during rain storms. All of this runoff and sediment washes into the main gut (stream) of the watershed; carrying an estimated 112 tons of sediment per year – 11 times higher than under natural conditions – into the coral reef habitats of Solitude Bay and the STXEEMP. NRCS and project partners worked together to develop a road drainage master plan and install practices to reduce road erosion in the neighborhood. Read more...


Jose A Martinez with new water trough for beef cattle.

Productive Pastures: NRCS & Farmers Improve Resource Quality

Limited-resource farmer, Jose M. Martinez, uses EQIP funding to improve pasture quality and plant productivity, increase water supply for livestock, reduce soil erosion and animal stress, and improve his beef cattle's health.  Read more...


Upper Rio Loco Watershed draining to Guanica Bay on the horizon.

Caribbean Area NRCS Works with Partners to Restore Habitats from Ridge to Reef

Throughout the Caribbean Area, NRCS works with landowners to protect our unique habitats and endemic species.  The Guanica Bay-Rio Loco Watershed Project and the Shade Coffee Initiative are examples of two multi-agency efforts to preserve and protect coral reef and forest ecosystems in Puerto Rico.  Read more...


Limited-resource farmer, Ernesto Santiago, with his wife.

Focus on Helping Under-served Clients in the Caribbean Area

The Caribbean Area makes every effort to include beginning, limited-resource and socially-disadvantaged farmers in our programs.  In Ciales, PR, Arecibo Soil Conservation Technician, Linnette Rosado, is working with limited-resource farmer Ernesto Santiago Miranda to conserve resources on his coffee farm.  Read more...


Volunteers planting rain garden.

VIRC&D Rain Garden Demonstration Project

Land-based sources of pollution - storm water runoff from roads, parking lots, industrial areas, farms and lawns that carries dirt, oil, bacteria, pesticides, fertilizers, and other toxic chemicals - is the biggest cause of pollution to Caribbean Area coastal waters.  Every drop of rain that landowners can keep on their property helps to keep our coastal waters less polluted. To help capture stormwater, the Virgin Islands RC&D Council installed the USVI's first-ever rain garden to provide public education and outreach to the St. Croix community on how individuals can help lessen storm water flooding and pollution problems in the territory.  Read more...


Energy audit data collection trainees inspect local dairy during field exercise.

EQIP Energy Initiative Leads To Efficiency Gains For Puerto Rico Dairy Producers

NRCS and the Puerto Rico Milk Industry Development Fund (MIDF) launched an initiative in 2010 to help dairy producers transition to more energy efficient operations.  The EQIP Energy Initiative funds individual on-farm energy audits designed to save farmers both money and energy. Read more...