The Fourth Wave
Published in

The Fourth Wave

How 300 farmers are saving NYC billions

A novel partnership enables farmers to take action protecting city water, an approach that could be taken to scale

New York City skyscape

368 NY farms on board and more joining

The city-funded eco services program, administered by the non-profit Watershed Agricultural Council, finances drainage solutions, manure pads, barnyard construction and other projects that farmers themselves may not be able to afford. Such improvements are critical for keeping phosphates along with Cryptosporidium, giardia and other nasty waterborne diseases out of the Delaware and Catskill watersheds.

Upstate New York, photo credit: Leslie Von Pless

$12 million a year helps buy water quality for NYC

The city awarded $12.6 million to the council in 2017 to fund its eco services projects. That also includes money for a smaller forestry conservation program, and payments for conservation easements to farmers.

A Nobel idea

Leda Bloomberg and Steve Cole, Alpaca sheep farmers in the Hudson Valley, told us the Watershed Agricultural Council helped fund, among other things, a rocky channel along their roadway. It collects water that runs off fields and diverts it away to be soaked up by soil, reducing runoff.

We are entering a new era of environmental innovation that is driving better alignment between technology and environmental goals — and results. #FourthWave



Environmental progress doesn't just happen. It's been propelled by successive waves of innovation, each unleashing powerful new tools: Land conservation. Force of Law. Power of Market-Based Solutions. Today we are seeing the emergence of a Fourth Wave of environmental innovation.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Environmental Defense Fund

We work with businesses, governments and communities to create lasting solutions to the most serious environmental problems. We’re EDF.