Regional Conservation Partnership Program

The Long Island Sound Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program (LISW-RCPP) is a landscape-scale initiative that covers the geographic area of Long Island Sound (the Sound) and its watershed.  Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the LISW-RCPP supports efforts that find common ground among agricultural producers and conservation organizations in working towards the sustainable use of soil, water, and other natural resources.

Our approach is to provide a team (with expertise in agronomy, engineering, pasture management, cover cropping, manure management, livestock and vegetable production, soil health, farming in a changing climate, food safety, weed management, farm energy use, and farm viability) to work with individual farmers in the watershed.  By working with individual farmers to address their specific goals and challenges, we are seeking to build soil health and restore and protect water quality.

What’s critical about soil health now?

1. World population is projected to increase from 7.7 billion in 2019 to more than 9 billion in 2050. To sustain this level of growth, food production will need to rise by 70 percent.

2. Between 1985 and 2010, 22% of prime farmland in Connecticut were lost to development.

3. Healthy soil is the foundation for profitable, productive, and environmentally sound agricultural systems.

Technical Assistance

Conservation District partners will provide technical assistance to navigate the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP ) eligible agricultural producers, especially those not previously reached by USDA NRCS programs.  This will include the development of conservation plans leading to the completion of nutrient management plans on farms throughout the watershed over the life of the program.

Work can include soil, plant and manure sampling and testing as needed, as well as monitoring and documentation of conservation practices implemented as a result of conservation planning activities.  In collaboration with technical assistance provided by the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension Service, conservation planning project will lead to implementation management strategies that promote nutrient cycling and retention.

Nutrient Loading in the Long Island Sound

aerial view of water with pollution coming out of river from the land/shore
Long Island could watershed