The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Alliance) is reaching beyond the coast and making connections throughout the Gulf’s vast watershed. Recently, the New River-Highlands Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council joined the Alliance in the overall goal for a healthy and sustainable Gulf.

The New River-Highlands Resource Conservation and Development Council is comprised of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, 3 planning district commissions, 11 counties, producers and other stakeholders. They are interested in sound natural resources stewardship and community development in Southwest Virginia. Rainfall within the majority of the area served by the RC&D Council drains to the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio and Tennessee rivers.

The new collaboration will include disseminating best management practices for agricultural, industrial and residential runoff abatement; developing innovative water quality funding strategies and otherwise enhancing communication across the Gulf of Mexico watershed. The RC&D Council recognizes the intentional benefit its own work has on downstream environments. It strives to reduce the impact local activities in Virginia headwaters have on the ecology and economy of coastal communities. As one of the “Up-stream Partners” of the Alliance, the RC&D Council hopes to build awareness of local conservation practices, share successes with the larger group and remind residents in Appalachia that, we all live downstream.