Soil & Water Conservation District
Pictured above are OSWCD Board of Supervisors along with staff. Supervisor Corona is being recognized for his 25 years of service. Pictured from left to right, Audrey Kuipers, Doug Burnham, Nano Corona, Nicki Smith, Don Sellers, and Courtney Murphy.
Pictured above are employees from various agencies attending a soil health training. From left to right, Clarence Morgan, Howard Harrison, Jedediah Dunn, Carlos Torres, Maelo Reyes, and Audrey Kuipers.
Our next Board meeting will be held on February 9th at 1:00PM, in our 200 NW 5th Street, Okeechobee, conference room.
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), statewide leaders and local and state health officials continue to monitor the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the OSWCD is taking precautions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Starting April 12, 2020 the USDA Service Center instituted a locked-door policy but customers will be allowed to be seen with an appointment. Please call 863.763.3619 if you need assistance. Rest assured, conservation planning, practice checkouts and cost share payments will continue to be processed.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is reminding customers to check on Service Center status before planning an in-person visit. USDA continues to evaluate the status of coronavirus transmission in the local communities and may limit or restrict access to specific offices to protect the health of employees and its customers. The current operational status of every Service Center status at https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status
Pictured are OSWCD Board members. From left to right, Douglas Burnham, Glynn Rutledge, Donald Sellers, Mariano Corona, and Nicki Smith.
What We Do
Established by the Florida Legislature, the Okeechobee Soil & Water Conservation District was established October 9, 1950 under Florida Statutes 582. OSWCD is a governmental subdivision of the State of Florida created by local residents for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the wise use, management and general conservation of the County’s soil, water and related natural resources. The District is committed to preserving and enhancing the quality of life in Okeechobee County through conservation of its natural resources. Soil and Water Conservation Districts are non-taxing and are supported by maintaining relationships and partnership with other government agencies.
The Okeechobee Soil & Water Conservation District works closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), creating ways to conserve water, prevent soil erosion, convert irrigation systems and inform the public about conservation problems.
As an agency of the State, the Okeechobee Soil and Water Conservation District is responsible for developing and carrying out locally-led programs for the conservation, protection, and development of soil, water, and land for agricultural purposes.
There are 58 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Florida, all organized by local constituents for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the wise use, management and general conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources.
- Provide technical assistance with conservation planning and best management practice implementation.
- Partner with state and federal governments to provide environmental incentive programs to landowners.
- Administer funds for the State of Florida.
- Educate youth through various programs including the district speech and poster contests, land judging competition, Envirothon competition, and Ag-Venture program.
- Provide educator grants available to public, private, and home school educators interested in implementing soil and water conservation programs in their classrooms.
- Educate the public through environmental/agricultural presentations.
- Serve as the FWC monofilament recovery and recycling program coordinator for Okeechobee. Bins have been placed throughout the county to collect line and keep it out of our waterways. Collected line is sent to Berkley-Pure Fishing for recycling into tackle boxes, toys, and other products.