The RC&D Program was established in the Agriculture Act of 1962 to provide a program that empowers local citizens to develop and carry out an action-oriented plan for the social, economic and environmental enrichment of their communities. Federal funding for the RC&D Program ended in 2011, but many councils continue their work as self-sustaining 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations.
For nearly half a century, the ESVARC&D has worked quietly in the background on wide ranging local issues. We pioneered development of innovative public infrastructure such as Waterless Fire Hydrants for dealing with the challenges of rural firefighting. We spearheaded widespread implementation of public boat landings in many of our seaside and bayside towns. We collaborated on the development of model conservation demonstration programs such as Living Shorelines, which not only mitigate erosion from increased weather activity and rising sea levels, but also improve water quality which in turn improves aquaculture. Not only do we facilitate the research and development of conservation and resource infrastructure, we follow up with community outreach and education to spread the practices of resiliency throughout the community and private landowners.