Category Archives: Clean Water

Learn more about the Wapsi Watershed!

Published / by Megan Buckingham
  • Everyone--from landowners to communities--has a role in reducing runoff and preventing flooding!

Upper Wapsi Watershed Open Houses

Published / by Megan Buckingham

Residents and landowners in the Upper Wapsi Watershed are invited to a series of Public Meeting Open Houses.

Who might want to come? Anyone who is interested in…

  • Keeping communities and landowners in the Upper Wapsi protected from flooding.
  • Sustaining clean water.
  • Learning about urban conservation practices that can beautify communities and help better manage stormwater to reduce flood risk.
  • Exploring the many ways farmers & landowners are already practicing conservation on rural land–and considering opportunities to increase impactful conservation.
  • Sharing their own perspective on the watershed–what they value, what they’re concerned about, and what they want to do to make the Upper Wapsi more resilient.

The Open Houses are scheduled for:
November 16th – New Hampton Public Library – 1:00-2:30pm
November 20th – Bremer County ISU Extension Office in Tripoli – 1:00-2:30pm
November 30th – Riceville Public Library – 7:00-8:30pm
December 6th – Independence Public Library – 7:00-8:30pm

No RSVP required, but if you have questions or want to let us know you’re coming, please contact Megan at Northeast Iowa RC&D: megan@northeastiowarcd.org, 563-864-7112.

We hope to see you at one of the open houses!

Rain Gardens: Beautiful and Beneficial

Published / by Megan Buckingham

Rain gardens utilize good soil and deep-rooted plants to infiltrate runoff from a smaller area, such as a roof, driveway, or a section of street or parking lot. Often rain gardens are beautifully landscaped with brightly colored flowers that attract butterflies and other pollinators. Properly constructed rain gardens are in the natural path of runoff and are slightly depressed, but designed to infiltrate ponded water in under 24 hours. Check out Rainscaping Iowa’s rain garden resources to learn more!

Rain gardens are another urban stormwater best management practice (BMP) you may want to consider using at home, at your business, or in your community! To learn more about urban stormwater BMPs check out Rainscaping Iowa, a project of the Iowa Storm Water Education Partnership.

Bioswales: Not your grandmother’s storm sewer

Published / by Megan Buckingham

A bioswale can be used in place of a traditional storm sewer. Planted with deep-rooted native grasses, flowers, and shrubs, bioswales beautify while helping water filter and infiltrate. Bioswales work best when they are placed in existing drainage areas. By design, bioswales infiltrate frequent smaller rain events and convey heavy rains in a non-erosive manner. They do not hold water on the surface for extended periods of time. In fact, bioswales can be a good solution for areas that have problems with ponding and standing water. Learn more about bioswales at RainscapingIowa.org!

Bioswales are just one of many green stormwater management practices that communities can implement. Check this page for more examples, or visit the Iowa Storm Water Education Partnership’s website to learn more!

Survey Sent to Landowners in Upper Wapsi Watershed

Published / by Megan Buckingham

If you own property in the Upper Wapsipinicon Watershed, you may find a survey in your mailbox this summer. The survey is part of the planning process the Upper Wapsipinicon Watershed Management Authority (WMA) has undertaken in an effort to reduce the risk of flooding and improve water quality in the watershed.

The Upper Wapsipinicon WMA, a formal partnership between 15 communities, 9 Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and 8 county Boards of Supervisors, is working with Northeast Iowa RC&D to create a 20-year plan for the watershed. The first step in the planning process is learning about the watershed and the people who live in it. To that end, Northeast Iowa RC&D has begun evaluating land use, urban runoff, and other characteristics of the watershed. The survey, sent to 1,300 households, is one way landowners can give input to the plan.

“Input from people who live and own land in the watershed is critical to creating an effective plan,” said Megan Buckingham, Watershed Outreach Coordinator with Northeast Iowa RC&D. “Responses to the survey will help us understand landowners’ experiences with water and flooding. And since participation in watershed projects is voluntary, it will gauge urban and rural landowners’ interest in participating in storm water management or targeted conservation practices.”

To learn more about the Upper Wapsipinicon Watershed, scroll around this website or contact Megan at Northeast Iowa RC&D at 563-864-7112.

Water Sampling in the Upper Wapsi

Published / by Megan Buckingham

Elaine Hughes prepares to draw samples from Buffalo Creek near Quasqueton.

A couple of times a month, volunteers collect water samples from streams, creeks and the Wapsipinicon River. Samples are sent to Coe College, where they are tested for nitrates, phosphorous, chlorine, sulfate and total suspended solids.

Monitoring is a critical component of improving water quality. As the Upper Wapsi WMA sets improvement goals, the data collected can help them identify the most critical problems in the watershed and prioritize effective solutions.

Building a Stormwater Quality Management Program in Readlyn

Published / by Brad Crawford

The City of Readlyn recently received $70,000 from the Iowa Water Quality Initiative Urban Conservation Project to be used to support a local partnership brought together with the common goal of building a stormwater quality management program within the City of Readlyn. This project will partner with the SRF Sponsored Projects Program to install a series of bioretention cells in an area of town which has been historically subject to large stormwater runoff volumes.

Projects funded by the Iowa WQI Urban Conservation Project will focus on conservation measures that capture and allow stormwater to be absorbed into the ground and reduce a property’s contribution to water quality degradation, stream flows and flooding.  They also include strong partnerships and outreach/education components to disseminate information to promote increased awareness and adoption of available practices and technologies for achieving reductions in nutrient loads to surface waters.

Full Announcementhttp://www.cleanwateriowa.org/article.aspx?id=223&Branstad%2c+Reynolds%2c+Northey+Announce+12+Urban+Water+Quality+Demonstration+Projects+Selected+to+Receive+Funding

Learn More About Bioretention Cells in Iowa: http://www.rainscapingiowa.org/documents/filelibrary/bioretention_cells/BioretentionCell2014_4AAE3A8292807.pdf

 

Master River Stewards Program to be Offered Summer 2017 in Wapsipinicon River Watershed

Published / by Brad Crawford

Iowa Rivers Revival’s Master River Stewards Program is a comprehensive river course that will focus on riverine systems, including skills to paddle and navigate rivers, restore aquatic habitat, improve water quality, and understand policies related to floodplains, river protection and restoration.

The Master River Steward program will build on a network of river experts in various partner agencies and organizations. It will help adult learners collaborate to protect and improve Iowa’s rivers, so that current and future generations can enjoy these resources.

Session Topics

  1. Watersheds & Ag Policies
  2. River Form & Function
  3. Navigating Iowa’s Waters/Wildlife & River Chemistry/Monitoring
  4. Stream/Riparian Zone Restoration & Impacts on Fish/Wildlife
  5. Agricultural Production & Farm Waste/Water Treatment Plant Visits
  6. Review & Potential Projects
  7. Post Training/Follow-Up, Project Sharing & Evaluation

Registration Deadline: May 2, 2017 (please inquire about availability after this date)
Contact: Sondra Cabell, Naturalist, fontanapark@iowatelecom.net, (319) 636-2617