On Monday, Senators Chris Coons and Tom Carper were joined by state officials and Seaford cattle farm owners Carlton and Jody Jones to highlight conservation accomplishments in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, working with farmers and other local stakeholders, has achieved historic levels of conservation implementation in the Chesapeake Bay watershed during the past two years, leading to water quality improvements, wildlife habitat enhancement and support of rural economies.
NRCS helped Chesapeake Bay farmers and forest landowners voluntarily install conservation practices or actions on a total of 650,000 acres of working lands. Since 2004, NRCS has provided more than $500 million to help farmers install or apply conservation practices. Through the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative (CBWI), and other Farm Bill programs, NRCS staff helped landowners to voluntarily implement over 60,000 new conservation practices in the watershed in 2011.
"Voluntary conservation practices make a tremendous difference as we work to support our local farmers while protecting and sustaining our precious natural resources for generations to come," Senator Coons said. "Delaware farmers continue to raise the bar when it comes to committing themselves to best management practices that protect and preserve the land they farm, as well as the natural resources that surround them. What has been accomplished in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed should not only be celebrated, but should also serve as a model for other areas in the state, region and the nation."
NRCS staff has helped landowners voluntarily apply or construct nearly 300 waste storage facilities, over 150,000 acres of nutrient management to regulate nutrient application, and nearly 70,000 feet of terraces to prevent soil erosion.