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Industrial shoreline with debris, old pilings, buildings in background, and clear sky.

Our Mission

The NYC Soil and Water Conservation District, part of a nationwide system of 3000 districts, assists New Yorkers and local decision-makers in making wise use of the City’s soil, water and related resources.

Our mission is to:

  • Conserve, preserve and protect natural resources;
  • Improve water and soil quality;
  • Prevent soil erosion and sedimentation;
  • Promote the health, safety and general welfare of the City.

History and Organizational Background

The NYC District was established under the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Law. It is a subdivision of the state government, governed by a Board of nine members representing all five boroughs. Seven of those members are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council. Five of the seven are recommended by the Borough Presidents and two are recommended by the Mayor. The other two board members are appointed directly by the City Council. 

Like districts throughout the nation, the NYC District receives technical assistance from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) under a signed Memorandum of Agreement.

We also work in partnership with the NYC Department Environmental Protection and NYC Parks, various non-profit and community based organizations, and other Soil & Water Conservation Districts in the Hudson Valley and Long Island.