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Protecting and enhancing water and soil quality is the mission of the Dare Soil and Water Conservation District. Districts work closely with county, state and federal governments and both public and private organizations in a non-regulatory capacity to carry out a comprehensive conservation program that protects and improves the county's natural resources while assisting private landowners in using conservation practices. This partnership addresses serious problems across the state including soil erosion, flood damage and water quality problems



Soil and water conservation districts and their governing boards of supervisors were formed nationwide based on enabling legislation passed by Congress that grew out of the devastating Dust Bowl and other critical conservation problems of the 1930s. This federal legislation encouraged states to pass legislation for the establishment of local soil and water conservation districts. Dr. Hugh Hammond Bennett, a NC native from Anson County, was instrumental in raising awareness about soil erosion and can be credited for soil and water conservation programs around the nation today. When NC passed the Soil and Water Conservation Districts Law, the citizens of Anson County organized the Brown Creek Soil and Water Conservation District, the first district in the United States. Dare Soil and Water Conservation District is one of 96 districts in North Carolina. Under NC General Statute 139, soil and water conservation districts are organized as governmental subdivisions of the state, as well as independent political units. 

Purpose & Function

District law provides authority to districts to meet the needs of landowners and citizens in several ways.

  • Deliver state programs administered by the division, including: the Agriculture Cost Share Program (ACSP), the Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program (AgWRAP), Community Conservation Assistance Program (CCAP) and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).
  • Deliver federal Farm Bill conservation programs involving water quality practices, farmland protection, wetlands restoration and wildlife habitat enhancement.
  • Assist communities in many areas of natural resource management such as erosion and sediment control, source water protection, stormwater management, floodplain management and flood control, water use efficiency, stream restoration, open spaces and small-plot forestry management.
  • Respond to natural disasters by helping local landowners and state and local governments with clean-up efforts and restoration including cropland and drainage system cleanup, repair of conservation best management practices, livestock mortality issues and waste management systems.
  • Respond to projects of local interest such as conservation easements, environmental education centers, parks and demonstration farms.

Programs, technical services, and educational outreach are available to help promote natural resource management through land conservation, stormwater drainage improvements, and implementation of Best Management Practices.