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NRCS-USACE National Partnership Agreement Renewed

Published May 31, 2011
Photo of Partnership Agreement Signing.
Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy and Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Dave White sign and renew the NRCS/USACE National Partnership Agreement.
Photo of Award Presentation to Ms. Darcy
Ms. Darcy with the national "Legacy of Conservation" Award.

ALEXANDRIA, VA—May 31, 2011. On May 26, 2011, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy and Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Dave White took part in a signing ceremony to renew the NRCS/USACE National Partnership Agreement. The ceremony took place at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Building in Washington, DC. The overall goal of the Partnership remains unchanged from the original agreement signed six years ago, which is to “promote a long term working relationship to improve the management of water and related natural resources under the missions and authorities of NRCS and USACE.” This renewed Partnership Agreement broadens the areas of cooperation to include coastal restoration, water quality improvements, water supply development, and coordination of programs and activities that promote the wise use of floodplains, including participation in the Federal Interagency Floodplain Management Task Force.

“The renewal of this agreement gives us the opportunity to do more things than we did in the first five years,” Ms. Darcy said. “Sharing resources will help us deliver services even more effectively than we have in the past.”

Immediately following the signing of the Agreement, Mr. White and Ms. Darcy exchanged medallions symbolizing each agency’s long-term efforts in conservation, public safety and public service. Then Mr. White presented Ms. Darcy on behalf of USACE with the national "Legacy of Conservation" Award. This award recognizes those outstanding organizations or individuals whose partnership efforts significantly contribute to America's enduring legacy of conservation on our working lands. The "Legacy of Conservation" Award medal carries the image of Hugh Hammond Bennett, who led the soil conservation movement in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s, urging the country to address soil erosion. Bennett created and was the first chief of the Soil Conservation Service, which would become the NRCS.

This has been a busy year for the Partnership. On April 15, 2011, representatives of the USDA NRCS and USACE met aboard the Motor Vessel Mississippi to sign the first regional Memorandum of Understanding between the two agencies. That same month on April 26, 2011, a joint NRCS/USACE Partnership Webinar was held with over 200 NRCS/USACE staff participating from the field. The webinar highlighted the Partnership (background and current and future goals) and presented the NRCS/USACE Partnership Handbook: A Field Guide to Working Together Toward Shared Goals. The Partnership Handbook provides information on each agency’s organization, mission and programs, and it suggests ways of working together. Most recently, the NRCS/USACE Regulatory Partnership, an Interagency Work Group, has been formed, which will focus on addressing Regulatory issues.

For those who missed the April 26, 2011, webinar highlighting the NRCS/USACE Partnership Handbook, a second webinar will be held on July 21, 2011, at 1:00pm.

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