Our Vision & Mission

“In 1937, the Florida Legislature enacted Chapter 582, Florida Statues (F. S.), Soil and Water Conservation. The legislation established a state and local partnership with the federal government to protect and restore soil and water resources, and to assist private landowners in using conservation practices. This partnership has worked for more than 75 years to address serious issues with regard to soil erosion, flood damage and water quality. The vehicles for this partnership are the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), which have statutory authorities ranging from project demonstration to land use regulation.

Since the inception of Chapter 582, Florida has established other state and regional governmental agencies to manage and protect our land and water resources, and to regulate water supply, water quality and flood control. These agencies – the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the five water management districts (WMDs) and the Department of Community Affairs (DCAs) – have acquired broad authorities and responsibilities that are similar to those outlined in the Soil and Water Conservation law. Perhaps because of this, the SWCDs have not needed to make full use of their statutory powers. However, the role of the SWCDs in land and water management remains significant, and is integral to meeting state environmental objectives at the local level.

Florida’s SWCDs have a long history in joining with partners to provide funding and technical support to help local landowners in conservation efforts. Traditionally, the three main partners are the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resource Conservation (NRCS), the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Office of Agricultural Water Policy (OAWP) and the counties that the SWCDs serve. Many counties are turning to their county extension programs and to their soil and water partners to help develop urban and agricultural programs at the local level on both public and private lands.”*

*Copied from the Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Handbook – June 2011