The Northern Neck Soil & Water Conservation District is one of 47 local government entities across Virginia whose mission it is to promote soil and water conservation and protection of natural resources. The NNSWCD, the eighth Soil & Water District to be formed in the state, began with four local farm producers serving as Directors in Heathsville in July 1940. In the 1970s, the number was increased to ten.
Congress passed the Soil Conservation Act of 1935 to provide a permanent program to control the ever-increasing problem of erosion, floods and sky-blackening dust storms that at the time swept through the country.
This policy was addressed by the development of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, formerly SCS). To encourage local participation, President Roosevelt sent all state governors a letter requesting that legislation be passed to form soil and water conservation districts. In 1938 the Soil Conservation District Law of Virginia was passed so that local residents would take responsibility for directing programs aimed at solving conservation problems in their communities.

Funding & Governance:
Virginia’s Soil & Water Conservation Districts are funded by local government appropriations and federal, state, and private grants.A Board comprising local elected and appointed residents oversees our staff, which is responsible for accomplishing these goals in cooperation with local, state, and federal partners. Current District activities and responsibilities include:education on nonpoint source pollution and agricultural, industrial, and residential Best Management Practices (BMPS); management of nonpoint source pollution abatement cost-share programs; participation in management and planning for watersheds (such as Tributary Strategies for the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers); technical support to local governments