Clay County
Soil and Water Conservation District

About Clay SWCD

Our Purpose

The mission of the Clay County Soil & Water Conservation District is to ensure a quality urban and rural environment through protection, restoration, and improvements of our soil, water and natural resources.


Board Members

Seat 1

Harrison “Ted” Clark
Supervisor: Chair
2463 S.R. 16 West, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
Supervisor Clark
 was elected to the Clay Soil and Water Conservation Board in November 2018 and started his 4 year term on January 1, 2019.

Seat 2

Richard Russell
Position: Secretary/Treasurer
2463 S.R. 16 West, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
Supervisor Russell was appointed to fill the vacancy on the Clay Soil and Water Conservation Board.

Seat 3

Richard “Rick” Darby
Position: Supervisor
2463 S.R. 16 West, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
Richard was elected to the Clay County Soil and Water Conservation Board on November 4, 2014.

Seat 4

Wes Taylor
Position: Supervisor
2463 S.R. 16 West, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
Supervisor Taylor was elected to the Clay County Soil and Water Board on November 5, 2012.

Seat 5

Michael Cassidy
Position: Vice Chair
2463 S.R. 16 West, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
Supervisor Cassidy
was elected to the Clay Soil and Water Conservation Board in the General Election held in November of 2018 to a 4 year term starting January 1, 2019.


What We Do


In 1937, the Florida Legislature enacted Chapter 582, Florida Statutes (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 seventy 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 government agencies to manage and protect our land and water resources, and to regulate water supply, water quality and flood control. These agencies are the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Five Water Management Districts (WMDs) and the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). Each department has broad authority and responsibilities that are similar to those outlined in the Soil and Conservation law.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts

Soil and water conservation districts were originally organized, for the most part, within county boundaries by landowner petition based on need for soil and water conservation and in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare. A soil and water conservation district so organized constitutes a governmental subdivision of the State of Florida.


The governing body of a soil and water conservation district consists of five elected supervisors. The office of a soil and water conservation district supervisor is nonpartisan and district wide. Candidates are elected in a general election to a 4-year term. Vacancies are filled by appointment by the remaining supervisors until the next regular election. Supervisors receive no monetary compensation for their services, but may be reimbursed for travel expenses.

Powers, Duties, and Responsibilities

The powers of SWCDs and supervisors are quite broad, and relate to the development and implementation of soil and water conservation practices on private lands. Florida Statutes 582.20 and 582.21 delineate the special powers provided to each SWCD.

Clay Soil and Water Conservation was formed on October 24, 1949 through Petition/State Soil Conservation Board Resolution and General law. It was established under Chapter 582, Florida statutes.

Service Area

The Clay County Soil and Water Conservation District serves all of Clay County in the area of the conservation and stewardship of our natural resources.

Services Provided

  • Assist land owners in their efforts to secure financial assistance through Farm Bill Programs to implement conservation practices

  • Conservation education, programs and information

  • Assist growers with development of low volume irrigation systems

  • Develop and update irrigation water management plans

  • Soil surveys and historical maps

  • Local government advice and assistance

  • Youth education

  • Invasive plant control


Clay County Soil and Water Conservation District is not supported with State or Federal funding. There is a small funding from the County that provides reimbursement for official travel and events expenses to the Supervisors

We ask that you consider supporting the Clay Soil and Water Conservation District as a volunteer, providing expertise or with financial support.

Please check back often to see what fundraising activities we may have to raise money for the Clay County Soil and Water District activities.

Educational Programs

The Clay County Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors a number of programs that serve the Clay County communities. Through community support and fundraising efforts, the district is working to build the number of services we are able to offer.

The annual Envirothon, Poster & Speech Contest and Land Judging are some of the educational programs with which we are currently involved.

If you are interested in volunteering for any of these programs, in having a district supervisor work with you on a project or in offering your support for our work, please contact:


The Regional Envirothon is a problem-solving, natural resource education program for high school students. It is a unique outdoor competition that requires teamwork and the application of knowledge in the five areas listed below:

  • Aquatics – water ecology, water chemistry, water quality, and aquatic life.
  • Current Environmental Issues – annually selected topics such as energy sources, ground water, Gulf of Mexico environmental concerns or other current issues.
  • Forestry – tree identification, tree ecology, insects, and timber.
  • Soils – classification, formation, soil properties, profiles, and site suitability.
  • Wildlife – habitat, identification, food, disease, and management.

Each team consists of five students. Schools can enter more than one team, but no more than six teams. The five-member teams are led by an advisor in studying prepared resource materials in the five areas including a selected current environmental issues.

Schools can enter more than one team, but no more than six teams. During the competition, the students will rotate to the five testing stations.The Regional Envirothon is sponsored by the Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Soil and Water Conservation Districts, bringing together soil scientists, wildlife experts, foresters, park and recreational leaders, and other environmental specialists to challenge students to learn about our natural resources.

Poster Contest

The annual National Conservation Poster Contest provides kindergarten through twelfth grade students an opportunity to convey their thoughts about soil, water and related natural resource issues through art. It also highlights the educational outreach efforts of conservation districts and their state conservation associations, auxiliaries and agencies. The poster contest theme follows the annual Stewardship theme. The contest is co-sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts and the NACD Auxiliary.

Each year, the poster contest starts at the district level. Individuals and teachers with questions regarding district contests should contact their local district. To locate your local district search our state directory. District winners advance to the state level. For questions regarding state competitions, districts should contact their state association. Finally, state winners advance to the National Contest. National winners are recognized each year at the NACD Annual Meeting.

**PLEASE NOTE: Check your state poster contest sponsoring group to determine deadline and theme topic and correct poster size. Each state coordinates their own contest. Posters must follow your state’s guidelines to be eligible for the national contest.

Go here for more information.

Speech Contest

Clay County Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors an annual speech contest, which is designed to develop leadership and stimulate interest in conserving natural resources.

Check back for more details coming soon.

Land Judging

Land Judging is an exciting 4-H and FFA contest in which Middle and High School students in observe and interpret the soil in order to make wise land use decisions.

The skills the teens use at the contest involve principles that can be valuable in career fields like environmental and agricultural management, natural resources conservation, home building, engineering, and construction. Students can compete at the local, state, and national levels.

The Bradford Soil & Water Conservation Districts host local middle and high school students in FFA and 4-H to test their knowledge by judging soils from four pits that are selected by a Soil Scientist with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

In each class (Middle 4-H, High 4-H, Middle FFA, High FFA) the local county winner may compete at the state contest in that respective class.

Top placing teams in the state contest are eligible to compete at the National Land Judging Contest held at the end of April.


Budget Information

The District’s fiscal year runs from October 1st through September 30th annually.

Get in Touch!

Clay County Soil & Water Conservation District
2463 S.R. 16 West
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
Phone: 904-662-2296

Your Details

Let us know how to get back to you.

How can we help?

Feel free to ask a question or simply leave a comment.