Reduce Flooding, Protect Water Quality & Watersheds

Watershed health, water quality, flood reduction and private lands conservation are important to Northeast Iowans. We have been coordinating water monitoring, facilitating partnerships, assessing watersheds, and helping develop plans to improve watershed health for over 2 decades. Working with our partners, we have developed and helped implement over 40 watershed plans and studies in just 15 years. Working alongside county Soil and Water Conservation Districts that concentrate on implementing smaller watershed projects encompassing 10,000 to 35,000 acres, we work to implement the plans that improve watershed health and water quality in larger river systems, crossing county and state boundaries in watersheds that are 640,000 to over one million acres. Over the past 15 years, we have worked diligently to help our partners secure tens of millions of dollars for private lands conservation while implementing dozens of regional projects ourselves.

We currently coordinate and help fund water quality monitoring at over 100 sites and are assisting with 3 major watershed initiatives (Turkey, Upper Wapsi and Upper Iowa). After over a decade of work, together with our partners, we helped achieve and document the first reduction in nitrogen and phosphorous in a large Iowa river, the Upper Iowa River. In 2015, we helped Iowa’s largest Watershed Management Authority (WMA), the Turkey River WMA, publish Iowa’s first flood reduction plan. We have secured funding to help dozens of landowners restore their streambanks and watched trout reproduction explode from a handful of streams to dozens. We involve producers in hands-on learning and assessment through our rain gauge program and champion producer outreach initiatives, as well as grass fed research and promotion, tile monitoring, and innovative research on how conservation provides a return on investment. Our work with County Engineers and WMA communities to develop innovative storm water runoff solutions is unprecedented, informing both state and national discussions.

Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development worked with the Iowa League of RC&D’s, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), 5 other Iowa RC&Ds, 10 scenic byway boards, 10 County Conservation Boards and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) eligible producers across...

The Turkey River Watershed project is bringing together local, state and federal partners in the eight-county Turkey River Watershed of Iowa as theTurkey River Watershed Alliance and Turkey River Watershed Management Authority to complete a comprehensive, systematic analysis of the watershed. The project is coordinating...