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What Are Resilient Watersheds?

When man and nature live harmoniously, the ecosystem, the watershed, and the families living in the region can work together to mitigate the trauma that takes place during natural disasters. 

Deforestation takes place when trees and bushes are used for cooking fuel. Erosion takes place when heavy rains or wind have no trees or bushes to hold the soil in place. Soil is depleted of nutrients which supports the soil's fertility.

A healthy ecosystem (or resilient watershed) in Haiti means having trees that sway with the wind, bushes and grasses that hold the soil in place, windbreaks that deflect the elements, windbreaks that provide economic, environmental, and community benefit, and windbreaks that allow the soil, crops, livestock, wildlife, and people to flourish. 

A watershed is an entire river system—an area drained by a river and all its tributaries. It is sometimes called a drainage basin. It captures, stores, and releases surface water. Several natural and manmade circumstances can interrupt its natural processes. 

A resilient watershed has the ability to recover promptly from natural disasters and to even be renewed by them. Watershed restoration projects can improve watershed resilience to both natural and human disturbances in much the same way that treating forests can make forests more resilient to wildfires. 

When we build resilient watersheds, we implement regenerative agricultural practices that regenerate the soil. These regenerative processes result in a healthy soil which produces high quality, nutrient-dense food while simultaneously improving the land that leads to productive farms and healthy communities and economies.

Regenerative work promotes food security by restoring the soil, organic matter, and biodiversity. It improves the ability of farmlands to absorb and maintain water, which makes crops less vulnerable to droughts and floods. It improves air quality, and more.

Evidence shows that as farms focus on soil health, they experience year-on-year yield increases, which means that healthy soil can increase a farm's ability to maintain a livelihood and contribute to local markets. 

When we provide communities with a regenerative plan to restore their watershed, we provide clear steps for their entire region to move forward as a resilient system rather than a patchwork of disconnected pieces. It means soil building, disaster mitigation, reforestation, erosion control, and food production.

It allows Haitian communities to finally begin their much needed, and final stage of disaster recovery and become a self-sustaining community.

CLICK to see one of our 100-year old regenerative projects. 

|  CLICK to see an interactive slideshow of Haiti's watershed. 

CLICK to read three regenerative stories in Haitian communities.

CLICK to watch the rehabilitation of several large-scale damaged ecosystems.

Haiti could be fully restored and self-sustaining in less than 15 months. as shown in our Arizona regenerative project photos: