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by William Gray, environmental scientist

Happy World Soil Day! This year’s international celebration of the importance of world soils aims to “Stop soil erosion, Save our future.” Did you know that it can take up to 100 years to produce a layer of soil as thick as a nickel? Soil erosion can remove many times that in only a matter of minutes.

At Tioga, we actively promote soil conservation through our work with business owners, facility designers and construction contractors to help maintain compliance with the state and federal regulations that relate to erosion prevention and sediment control. 

World Soil Day was first adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2014 and is celebrated each  year on Dec. 5. This day corresponds with the birthday of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand, who officially sanctioned the event and pushed the UN to adopt the celebration the world over.

This year’s WSD theme aims to educate and encourage individuals to take action to stop soil erosion. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the equivalent of one soccer field of soil is eroded every five seconds worldwide. Of course, soil erosion occurs naturally under all climatic conditions, but it can be accelerated up to 1,000 times faster by human activities. The FAO is challenging individuals to cover their soil and #StopSoilErosion by purchasing native plants from local nurseries to cover bare soils in their areas.

At Tioga, we work closely with state regulators to make sure our clients have the most up to date information and are using Best Management Practices to prevent soil erosion. Whether it is a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for Industrial or Construction Stormwater or a Clean Water Act Water Quality Certification, we assess each site with care and present solutions for our clients that will keep our waterways clear of pollution.

So, on this year’s World Soil Day, take a moment to observe the soil around you. Is it bare? Can you see small (or large!) gullies forming on slopes? Do those gullies lead into a ditch or stream that will eventually carry our precious soils out to sea? If you do see any of those things, consider picking up some native plants and help #StopSoilErosion. Please join us in keeping our waterways clear and beautiful for years to come!