About Us

About Us

The South Dade Soil & Water Conservation District (SDSWCD) was organized September 8, 1982 pursuant to the Conservation Districts Law of 1937, Florida Chapter 582, as a governmental subdivision of the State of Florida.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts are charged with conserving and improving soil, water, vegetation, wildlife and related resources, and with reducing damage from floods and sedimentation.

The SDSWCD is a non-profit 501-(c)-3 organization.The main goals of the SDSWCD are:

  • Conserve the quality of Miami-Dade County soils while protecting the surficial Biscayne Aquifer.
  • Improve water quality and water conservation.
  • Educate a  population with diverse backgrounds, languages, ages, economic levels and attitudes regarding environmental and conservation concerns critical to our area.
  • Facilitate the distribution of beneficial plants, and control and eliminate invasive exotic plants.
  • Monitor and reduce the pollution of coastal areas, the bays, oceans, rivers, lakes and canals within its prescribed borders.
  • Reduction of organic waste going to landfills by in-vessel composting of all organic waste products.

The South Dade Soil & Water Conservation District is a Florida non-profit organization.

The SDSWCD prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program.  (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)  The South Dade Soil & Water Conservation District is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

KNOW YOUR LOCAL SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

OVERVIEW (Download PDF)

The SDSWCD, a non-profit 501-C3 governmental subdivision of the State of Florida, has been successfully involved in conservation projects since 1982.

  • 1984 to present time, SDSWCD has been involved in the composting and distribution of waste-water residuals (biosolids) from the Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department (MDWASD).  Marketed and distributed Class B and Class AA biosolids.
  • 1991 First Place Region 4 and Second Place National EPA Award for Beneficial Reuse of Wastewater Residuals.  SDSWCD designed the wastewater residual protocol for MDWASD to compost biosolids and has been marketing the biosolids to South Florida agriculture growers:  row crops, groves and nurseries to present time.
  • 1992  Led effort to stop the burning of Hurricane Andrew yard waste.  Obtained FEMA funding for Miami-Dade County Solid Waste Department to grind the yard waste into mulch.  Distributed 4.5 million cubic yards of free mulch to local agricultural interests. FEMA reported that it was the most cost-effective disaster relief program they had.
  • 1993-97  Instructed 2,000 Miami-Dade County school students per year on water conservation in program funded by the South Florida Water Management District, ending with field trip to Everglades for the students.
  • 1995  Contracted with Fort Lauderdale Housing Authority to provide 400 water-saving showerheads and 800 sink aerators, reducing water consumption from 6 gpm  to 2.5 gpm.
  • 1995-96  Successfully conducted a two-year Clean Organic Waste (C.O.W.) Compost pilot project for Miami-Dade Solid Waste Department, using separated organic food waste from Morrison’s Cafeteria and the University of Miami Cafeteria.  Built a composting site at the University of Florida Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, FL with a mixing pad, four composting pads, two of which were aerated and two were static, a leachate  pond.  Tested compost provided 30% increase in yields, prevented root disease and conserved water.
  • 1997  Provided a no-cost plan to South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to remove and control exotic plants from the Frog Pond, a 5,000 acre tract of land adjacent to Everglades National Park by leasing parcels to farmers.  Received a five-year management contract of Frog Pond instituting Best Management Practices (BMP’s), funding hydrology and soil research by University of Florida while providing $40,000.00 per year to SFWMD from leases of farmable land.
  • 1999  Received grant to plant 268 trees in Richmond Heights, an underserved, historic  African American neighborhood.  Local residents were encouraged to participate.
  • 2002  SDSWCD began contacting the 31 municipalities in Miami-Dade County to create Conservation Partnerships with them.  This encourages the municipalities to participate in conservation practices and to initiate their own conservation programs.
  • 2003  Contracted with SFWMD to remove 2 miles of old chain-link fence and install new chain-link fence on State road 9336 bordering the Frog Pond, creating an aesthetic entrance to Everglades National Park.
  • 2005  Partnered with South Florida Resource Conservation and Development Council in an EPA grant to provide 900 water-saving showerheads in Florida City to low-income families.
  • 2006-07  Participated in a Farm Pilot Project Coordination (FPPC) project to compost cow manure at a 1,000 milking herd dairy by providing an in-vessel aerobic composter, composting the cow manure and marketing the composted cow manure as Florida Organix, an excellent soil amendment, to nurseries for potting mix. Became a distributor for BW Organics, Inc. the manufacturer of the in-vessel aerobic composter and started marketing it to all large producers of organic waste such as dairy farmers, poultry farmers, universities and schools, super markets, recreation parks, etc.
  • 2006-07 Received a Community Based Organization (CBO) Grant from Miami-Dade Department of Environmental Resource Management (DERM) for Teaching the Public New Conservation Habits While Reducing the Solid Waste Stream.  Planted eleven Xeriscape Gardens around the county, made eleven Conservation Presentations that included giving away 400 Earth Machine home composters, 1,200 water-saving showerheads, 2,000 Citizen’s Conservation Guides, sample CFL light bulbs and a few trees at no cost to the recipients.
  • 2009 -2010  Obtained a $50,000.00 EPA Grant to prove, “On Site In-Vessel Composting of Organic Waste and Re-Use On Site”.  Successfully included ZooMiami, City of Miami, Homestead Air Reserve Base and The Breakers Resort in Palm Beach.  Final report went out to approximately 3,000 Soil and Water Conservation District in U.S.
  • 2011- 2012  Installed a complete in-vessel composting system for Broken Sound Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida where they have four restaurants and two golf courses.  In the first year of composting the organic waste they composted approximately 500,000 pounds of food waste and 1,200,000 pounds of green waste.  All of the finished compost was re-used on the two golf courses, reducing the solid waste disposal fees and the commercial chemical fertilizer costs.
  • 2012  Signed contract with NEFCO to distribute Class AA biosolids south of Highway 80.
  • 2012  Signed contract with the City of Homestead to install a complete drying and in-vessel composting system to compost their biosolids cake from the centrifuge.  This will save the city approximately $144,000.00 in biosolids disposal to a landfill, with a return on the entire investment in 2.5 years.

All SDSWCD projects are carefully planned and executed by a small, well-qualified, and energetic staff  who enjoy a challenge to improve and protect our local environment in accordance with the SDSWCD mission:        

To provide local leadership in implementing conservation programs and technology that facilitate enhancement, sustainment and stewardship of our natural resources and environment.


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