Agriculture in the Classroom Grant Opportunity
During the 1930s, the Midwest experienced an environmental disaster known as the Dust Bowl. Due to a long drought and lack of a cover crop, topsoil from farmland was eroded by wind and lifted into huge dust clouds, which traveled thousands of miles. This event prompted Congress to pass legislation declaring soil and water conservation a national priority. In 1937, President Roosevelt requested that all states provide the opportunity for local governments to establish Soil and Water Conservation Districts stating that their responsibilities would be to assist in the prevention of soil erosion and flood control. In 1940, New York State adopted the Soil and Water Conservation Districts Law and consequently, in 1964 Suffolk County Legislators declared the county, a Soil and Water Conservation District.
As such, resolution 245-1964 established the Soil and Water Conservation District in accordance with the provisions of the Soil and Water Conservation District Law of New York, Chapter 727, Laws of 1940. The law directs Districts to conserve soil and water resources, control sediment and erosion, reduce floodwater, preserve natural resources, assist in the drainage and irrigation of agricultural lands, preserve wildlife and protect public lands. In 1975 the State passed an amendment to the Law, which requires the District to develop a conservation plan for all farms over twenty-five acres. Another amendment in 1989 was added directing Districts to improve water quality and to control and abate nonpoint source pollution.
A Board of Directors, whose members are appointed by the County Legislature, governs the District. The type of member and the length of term are dictated in the Soil and Water Conservation District Law. District Directors decide activities of the District and are responsible for its operational management.