Mission: We work with farm and forest landowners upstream to protect drinking water quality for nine million NYC residents downstream. The mission of the Watershed Agricultural Council is to support the economic viability of agriculture and forestry through the protection of water quality and the promotion of land conservation in the New York City Watershed region.
Geographic areas served: Catskills, NYC watershed region, NYC
Programs: Watershed agricultural program (wap) - works with individual farmers on a voluntary basis to create and implement whole farm plans designed to mitigate nonpoint-source water pollution from farming activities.
conservation easement program (cep)- works to conserve farm and forest land by purchasing the development right to these lands. Permanent protection of this "underdeveloped" land through conservation easements is ultimately the most lasting water quality protection.
watershed forestry program (wfp)- works with forest landowners, forestors, and loggers on a voluntary basis to develop and implement forest management plans. The plans give landowners an opportunity to learn about the important resource they own and its many values such as lumber, firewood, aesthetics, habitat, open space recreation, etc.
The private-public benefit of the Council's work with farm and forest landowners is truly remarkable. To think that nine million people depend on a few hundred upstream landowners, to voluntarily and willingly do the right thing, those "things" that need to be done to keep water clean for all those downstream...it's amazing and a testament of how well this organization's programs work.