Goals

  • Improve and Protect Ground and Surface Water Quality
  • Reduce the risk and impact of flooding to social, economic and ecological systems
  • Build Human and Landscape Resiliency

Objectives, Strategies, and Actions

Objectives, Strategies, and Actions were adopted by the Upper Wapsipinicon River Watershed WMA Board to help them reach their goals and achieve their vision. They were adopted with appreciation and consideration for the community engagement and input provided by watershed residents and partners; consideration for the watershed characteristics as described in the About the Watershed section of this plan; recognition of the unique Challenges and Opportunities of the Upper Wapsipinicon River Watershed; consideration and appreciation for the Analysis, Research and Modeling conducted by many partners.

  • There are six Objectives. Each of the Objectives and the associated Strategy or Strategies are listed below. Four “Story Maps” provide additional information about each Objective and the related Strategies and Actions.
  • There are one or more Strategies for each Objective
    • Strategies collectively help reach Objectives.
  • There are multiple Actions for each Strategy. Actions are the most specific and personal recommendation of the UWR WMA Board.
    • Actions that are implemented will help achieve Strategies.

Objective 1: Communicate, promote and advance the mission and goals of the Watershed Authority by creating an Upper Wapsipinicon River Watershed Resiliency Network. The network should foster partnerships between agencies, political entities and sub-entities, and organizations, consider all aspects of flood prevention and recovery, and maximize local, state and federal resources.

Strategy 1: Foster exceptional multi-agency/organization communication to build partnerships and engagement that will result in information sharing, and long-term commitment and sustainability beyond planning through implementation

Strategy 2: Foster implementation of this plan through expanded technical assistance through local, state and federal partner agencies and organizations.

Objective 2: Implement a Comprehensive Program of targeted activities designed to reduce flood risk and improve water quality in the Upper Wapsipinicon River Watershed.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Rilling.

Strategy 1: INCREASE INFILTRATION: Implement on-site practices that enhance soil health, reduce runoff and increase water holding capacity across the watershed. (NRCS four principles) These practices will minimize disturbance, maximize the presence of living roots. maximize soil cover and maximize biodiversity.

Strategy 2: IMPLEMENT WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PRACTICES.

Strategy 3: STORE EXCESS RAINFALL RUNOFF: Reduce Upper Wapsipinicon River stage by 12 inches at the City of Independence river gauge during a 2008 size rain event.

Strategy 4: RESTORE AND PROTECT STREAM AND RIVER CORRIDORS AND FLOODPLAINS.

Click on the strategy tabs below to explore actions associated with each strategy.

Strategy 1: INCREASE INFILTRATION: Implement on-site practices that enhance soil health, reduce runoff and increase water holding capacity across the watershed. (NRCS four principles) These practices will minimize disturbance, maximize presence of living roots. maximize soil cover and maximize biodiversity

Practices/Actions

Action 1: Implement Cover Crops

Cover crops are planted between cash crop seasons in order to keep cover on the ground all year long. They provide vegetative cover during the dormant winter months and are harvested or terminated in the spring so the next crop can grow. Using cover crops along with a no-till management strategy improves soil organic matter, improving soil health and overall productivity.

Action 2: Practice No-till

Performing no full tillage from the time of harvest or termination of one cash crop to the time of harvest or termination of the next cash crop, regardless of the depth of tillage.

Acton 3: Strip-till or Reduced Tillage

Strip-tillage is a form of reduced tillage in which strips of soil are tilled ahead of planing using a knife apparatus.

Action 4: Multi-cropping or Regenerative Agriculture

Multi-cropping is a form of regenerative agriculture which includes relay-cropping, poly-cropping, double-cropping, or inter-cropping. More generally, multi-cropping is a practice of growing more than one crop in the same growing season on the same section of land. Multi-cropping adds diversity to crop rotations, creates additional economic opportunities, reduces input costs and weed pressure, mimics nature, builds soil health, and more.

Action 5: Implement CRP

Establishing and maintaining the permanent vegetative cover of native grasses, legumes, and forbs.

Action 6: Implement Tree and Shrub establishment

Establishing and maintaining permanent vegetation in the form of woody plants in non-forested areas.

Actions 5 and 6 provide year-round ground cover and living roots, plant diversity, and require no soil disturbance. These practices should be managed regularly through timber stand improvement and mid-contract management.

Action 7: Install Contour Buffer Strips

Contour buffer strips are strips of grass or a mixture of grasses and legumes that run with the contour of the crop field.

Action 8: Install Prairie Strips

Similar to Contour buffer strips, prairie strips are strips of native grasses, legumes, and forbs that run with the contour of a crop field. They alternate down the slope of a field with wider cropped strips.

Action 9: Install Grass Waterways

Grass waterways are constructed channels that are planted to grass or other suitable permanent vegetation to convey water to a stable outlet from a crop field.

Actions 7-9 provide areas within a crop field that capture water and sediment runoff, contain high biodiversity, and provide ground cover and living roots all year round.

Action 10: Practice Contour farming

Contour farming means to farm with row patterns perpendicular with the slope of a hill, not up and down the slope. Creates little dams that work to slow runoff and reduce erosion.

Action 11: Practice Strip cropping

Strip cropping is growing one cultivated crop (like corn) in strips alternating with a sod-forming crop (like hay) arranged to follow the contour of a field.

Action 12: Plant diverse crop rotations

Conservation crop rotation is growing different crops on the same piece of land year after year.

Actions 10-12 are crop management practices that help limit soil erosion.

Action 13: Practice Rotational Grazing

A grazing practice that moves cattle between smaller paddocks based on forage availability and nutritional needs. Rotational grazing maintains diverse plant foraging composition, leaves more living roots and above-ground vegetation, and minimizes high traffic area disturbances.

Urban land use can result in increased surface runoff from impervious surfaces, like houses, businesses, schools, roads, driveways and parking lots. Urban transportation structures like roads and bridges can disrupt the natural flow patterns of water and can result in increased runoff from impervious cover. Practices used to increase the amount of permeable surfaces within an urban landscape are listed below. Click the practice to learn more about each one.

Action 14: Plant Native Landscaping

Establishing and maintaining a permanent vegetative cover of native grasses, legumes, and forbs in the urban setting to improve infiltration and provide habitat for wildlife.

Action 15: Implement Tree and Shrub establishment

Establishing and maintaining permanent vegetation in the form of woody plants in not forested areas.

Action 16: Install Permeable Pavement

Permeable pavement allows water to infiltrate around or through the paved surface into an engineered layer of rock below. Types of permeable pavement include; permeable pavers, pervious concrete or asphalt, and articulated pavers.

Action 17: Install Bioswales

Bioswales are installed as an alternative to a storm sewer; they consist of native vegetation, permeable soil, perforated subdrain, and berms. They are installed on sloped areas and are conveyed into wetlands pr detention basins before draining into a nearby stream or waterbody.

Action 18: Install Bioretention Cells

Bioretention cells are landscaped depressions that capture and infiltrate runoff water from impermeable surfaces such as parking lots or streets.

Action 19: Plant Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are shallow, bowl-like gardens that capture water from driveways, roofs or yards. Runoff that is captured in a rain garden creates a small temporary pond.

Actions 14-19 work to capture and infiltrate runoff from impermeable surfaces. They help reduce flows and filter out pollutants associated with urban areas.

Measuring Success

100% cover by one or more of the soil health or perennial cover practices on ‘Critical’ and ‘Very High’ Runoff Risk parcels as shown by the ACPF Data on the Upper Wapsipinicon Subwatersheds page.

60% cover on parcels deemed as ‘high’

40% cover by one or more of the soil health or perennial cover practices on remaining acres.

Critical Acres Very High Risk Acres High Risk Acres Present Risk Acres
Total Acres 17,845 63,281 265,291 666,360
Implementation Goal Acres 17,845 63,281 159,174 266,544

Runoff Risk Map

Strategy 2: IMPLEMENT WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PRACTICES

The Upper Wapsi River watershed contains approximately 100 miles of impaired streams listed in 2016. Water quality is very important for the overall resiliency of the watershed. Increasing soil health and soil infiltration as explained in the previous strategy also improves water quality. Click on the practices listed below to learn more about urban and rural best management practices that improve water quality and protect groundwater sources.

Practices/Actions

Action 1: Install Nutrient Reduction Wetlands

Nutrient Reduction Wetlands can be implemented in both rural and urban settings to collect and filter runoff before entering a major stream or river. Nutrient Reduction Wetlands are marshy areas that contain water-loving plants. They can contain standing water all year round or for only part of the year. They allow sediment and pollutants to be filtered before entering a stream, river, or groundwater sources.

Action 2: Practice Nutrient Management

Nutrient management is managing the amount, source, placement and timing of plant nutrients and soil amendments to reduce the amount of added nutrients that get washed into surface and groundwater supplies.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Rilling

Action 3: Install Manure Storage Systems

Protects downstream surface and groundwater sources from manure runoff by storing it until conditions are optimal for field application.

Action 4: Install Bioreactors

Bioreactors are an edge of field structure that contain a carbon source that enhances denitrification of excess nitrogen from field tile drainage.

Action 5: Install Saturated Buffers

Saturated buffers are a riparian buffer in which subsurface drainage from tile is diverted allowing excess nutrients to filter before entering a drainage ditch or other body of water.

Action 6: Install Drainage Water Management System

Allows the height of the water table within a field to be controlled. It allows farmers to hold water in the root zone of plants when they need it most, and drain it when there is too much. Drainage Water Management helps reduce the amount of nutrients that escape through tile drainage.

Action 7: Practice Livestock Stream Exclusion

Livestock stream exclusion limits the time and area livestock spend in a stream or river, which decreases the amount of excess nutrients and bacteria that directly enter the stream.

Action 8: Practice Source Water Protection
According to the Iowa DNR Source water protection is defined as the, “act of preventing contaminants from entering public drinking water sources.”

To view potential best management practice locations in each Subwatershed in the Upper Wapsi River Watershed click Here.

Urban areas and residential communities also have a large connection with water quality and heavily rely on certain drinking water sources. Municipal infrastructure upgrades may be needed due to aging infrastructure, or an increase in wastewater and stormwater treatment volume. Poorly functioning septic tanks allow untreated wastewater into streams and rivers. Practices listed below work to make sure that urban wastewater and stormwater are carefully managed to reduce bypass directly into a stream or river, and mixing between the two systems.

Action 9: Practice Septic system management

Properly designed, sized and maintained wastewater treatment systems safely remove and treat wastewater from the home and protect pollutants from entering water sources nearby.

Action 10: Educate Watershed Residents

Education programs that teach about lawn fertilizer and pesticide application, waste dumping in sinkholes, streams and rivers, and picking up waste produced from pets are a couple are some ways community members can help protect their drinking water and recreational resources.

Measuring Success

  • Reduce Nitrates to below 6 mg/L in all surface and source waters.
  • Reduce Total Phosphorous below 0.2 mg/L
  • Meet standards for all designations/No impairments.
  • Reduce turbidity/Increase visibility in surface water during rainfall events to no less than 10 cm.
  • Continue stream monitoring.
  • Encourage well testing and analyze test results by subwatershed
  • Restore and maintain a viable population of smallmouth bass and northern pike along the entire Upper Wapsi River
  • Completed phase 2 source water assessment for all communities in the Upper Wapsi River Watershed

Strategy 3: Reduce flood stage at Independence by 12 inches during a 2008 size storm.

According to the Iowa Flood Center, the number of heavy 3+ inch rainfalls are becoming more frequent (UWR Hydrologic Assessment). Water detention practices hold water in the landscape by capturing runoff from these heavy rainfall events before it enters a stream or river. These practices limit peak flows associated with flash floods. Water detention practices can be implemented in an urban or rural area, and many of them offer multiple benefits in addition to flood reduction.

Practices/Actions

Action 1: Install Detention Ponds

Detention ponds can be designed to hold water all year round, or for only a short period of time. Detention ponds that enough water all year round can be used for recreational activities like fishing. Detention ponds provide additional storage for runoff water from neighboring fields or landscapes.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Rilling

Action 2: Install Water and Sediment Control Basins (WASCOB)

WASCOB is an embankment structure that collects runoff water at the bottom of a drainage area and slowly releases it allowing sediments and nutrients to filter out.

Action 3: Create and Restore Wetlands

Wetlands provide areas where excess water can be stored and filtered before entering a nearby stream or river.

Action 4: Create and Restore Oxbows

Oxbows are old stream meanders that have naturally or artificially been cut off from the main stream or river channel. Oxbows store excess runoff, filter pollutants and sediment, and provide habitat for wildlife.

Action 5: Install Rain Water Harvest systems

Rainwater harvest systems capture runoff water from buildings both large and small and store it above or below ground to be used as non-potable water. Smaller systems collect runoff from the roofs of homes and can be later used on gardens. Large systems capture water from large industrial buildings and store it above or below ground in large tanks. Large volumes of captured water can be used to feed livestock, wash buildings, or for non-potable water inside the home.

To view potential Pond and WASCOB locations in each Subwatershed in the Upper Wapsi River Watershed click Here.

Measuring Success

  1. 18,000 acre-feet of distributed storage for the entire Upper Wapsi River Watershed
  2. 15,000 acre-feet of distributed storage for priority HUC12 watersheds

*Priority HUC 12s are upland subwatersheds above the community of Independence and excluding those in the Wapsi River Corridor (See map below)

Check out potential detention structure locations on the Upper Wapsipnicon Subwatersheds page

Strategy 4: RESTORE AND PROTECT STREAM AND RIVER CORRIDORS AND FLOODPLAINS

The Upper Wapsi River Watershed contains many areas where residents are at risk to flooding due to their proximity to stream and river corridors and floodplains. Protecting and restoring these areas can help maintain and improve the riparian area stream flow capacity.

Practices/Actions

Action 1: Restore Floodplain Connectivity

Restoring flood plain connectivity protects stream and river riparian areas. Flood plains can become unconnected by down cutting of a stream or river channel, flow alterations, physical barriers, or soil deposition in the floodplain. Disconnection of a flood plain causes higher peak flows associated with flooding and loss of wetland wildlife habitat. Floodplains provide diverse ecosystems, help trap and remove sediments and nutrients, and provide lateral flood storage which lowers the intensity of peak flows during flood events. Reconnection of the floodplain can be achieved by rerouting a stream or river to take on a new flood plain area, removing or modifying obstructions in the floodplain such as dams or road infrastructure, or modifying the stream bank to allow the stream or river to flood at a lower stream level. Permanently protecting properties along streams and rivers from urbanization through voluntary easements and public land purchase is another way to protect floodplain connectivity from disconnection.

USGS conducted a floodplain study in Green Island, Iowa on the importance of floodplain connectivity, for more information on this study click here.

Action 2: Plant Riparian Forest Buffers

Forest Buffers are forested strips planted along streams or rivers to reduce the amount of sediment, nutrients, and pesticides in surface runoff. They also provide habitat and help to reconnect the floodplain.

Action 3: Plant Filter Strips

Native grasses, or prairie strips planted along the stream or river banks to reduce the amount of sediment, nutrients, and pesticides in surface runoff. They also provide habitat and help to reconnect the floodplain.

Action 4: Install Stream Bank Stabilization

Deep rooted vegetation, multi species buffer, rip rap or other treatment used to stabilize and protect stream banks from erosion.

Action 5: Move vulnerable populations out of the flood plain area

Action 6: Create and preserve in-stream habitat

Measuring Success

  • Protect near stream habitat and river floodplains through easements.
  • Reduce impact to vulnerable populations and at-risk properties through buyouts, and development of affordable housing outside of the floodplain.
  • Increase native vegetation planting adjacent to streams and rivers by 50%. ­­
  • Protect critical transportation infrastructure, with emphasis on emergency response routes.
  • Relocate critical response services and facilities out of the floodplain
  • Reduce CAFO/manure storage siting in floodplain areas

Priority Subwatersheds

Objective 3: Maximize the benefits of the scientific watershed analysis by encouraging location and practice prioritization that is outcome-oriented

Strategy 1: Support projects that target priority landscape positions.

Strategy 2: Provide research, content, and recommendations that encourage location and practice prioritization in local plans, projects, and programs.

Strategy 3: Assure the plan is a working document that meets the criteria outlined by the Iowa DNR, has local buy-in, provides expert guidance for the partners and provide regular updates and reports to that others may learn from our efforts.

Objective 4: Education and Outreach: Support projects and partners that work with the WMA and/or independently to increase watershed resident’s awareness and understanding of watershed function, flood prevention, and water quality degradation using, but not limited to, the following strategies

Strategy 1: Increase public awareness of watersheds and the power of working through the watershed approach to measurably reduce flooding and improve water quality.

Actions

Description

This project will develop, fabricate and install informational and educational kiosks in strategic urban and rural locations where projects have been implemented. The kiosks will explain the practices and or the concepts associated with watershed resiliency and other priority topics like soil health, cover crops, permeable pavers, stream restoration, etc.

Target Audience

General Public

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, Private and Public property owners including producers who have implemented practices on their farm or property, CCBs, RC&D, City Park and Rec

Potential Partners

Private Landowners including Producers, Cities, Businesses, SWCDs, ISU Extension, CCBs, RC&D, Community Betterment Groups, NRCS, IDALS

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Kiosks development fabrication, placement, and care. Public and private kiosk ownership and care. Stories in local media, Mini-events at BMPs with kiosks

Outcomes

Increased public awareness of, understanding of and support for watershed resiliency and implementation of specific BMPs on private and public properties

Evaluation Metrics

Number of BMPs implemented by private and public partners and watershed community members

Description

This activity is intended to introduce conservation issues through creative methods including music, dance, theater and visual art events that relate back to watersheds, stewardship of water, and stormwater management.

Target Audience

General Public, Children & Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, Event Organizers, Communities, Schools, Artists: Singers, Songwriters, Composers, Dancers, Actors, Visual Artists, etc.

Potential Partners

Communities, Schools, Event Planners, Arts, Theater and Music Organizations and Businesses. K-12 School Art & Music Programs, College Art & Music Programs, Cultural Organizations. Local Businesses, RC&D, Event Organizers, Fair Boards

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Create a regional forum that fosters dialog about how water and art can enhance events, festivals, and fairs and shares activities and programs that can be used by interested parties and partners. Encourage planners to incorporate stormwater and watershed education into existing events, festivals and fairs.

Outcomes

Increased engagement related to water, increased public awareness of, understanding of and support for water resources

Evaluation Metrics

Number of forum users, number of activities and programs shared, number of activities and programs implemented, participation in activities and programs.

Description

This activity recognizes and coordinates local activities with world efforts to draw attention to the UWRW. It includes coordinating and promoting a week of events & media around watershed concepts during World Water Week and Earth Day Week. It could include a local media blitz, youth classes/activities, river cleanup outing, mini film festival, BMP tours, field day(s), fishing tournament, canoeing/kayaking races, pool party, nature hikes, art contest, block party, etc.

Target Audience

General Public, Children & Youth, Tourists/visitors

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, Community Leaders, Private Nonprofit Environmental Organizations, City Park and Recreation Departments, CCBs, SWCDs, ISU Extension

Potential Partners

Local Water-Related Business Owners such as Outfitters, Guides, etc., Chamber Offices, Tourism Offices, County Sanitarians, CCBs, Parks & Recreation, Hotel Motel Boards, SWCDs, ISU Extension

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Outreach to potential partners, coordination and promotion of multiple events within the UWR Watershed before and during the watershed week, follow-up social media and press releases

Outcomes

Increased awareness of UWR Watershed, water quality, flood prevention, resiliency concepts, and BMPs. Increased support for the implementation of urban and rural BMPs, supporting local policy, and public and private water management. Increased watershed awareness, responsibility, and stewardship.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of events held during the target week, participation in each activity/event, number of related media events and web post/likes, shares, traffic

Description

This activity will develop, fabricate and strategically place signage, including “Entering Upper Wapsi River Watershed” and “Exiting Upper Wapsi River Watershed” signs posted on highways and major roads at the watershed boundaries. It would include “Flows to” storm sewer stencils for use in UWR communities. (Such as Flows to Stream or Flows to Upper Wapsi River etc.)

Target Audience

General Public

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, SWCDs, County Farm Bureau Boards, Iowa DNR, City Managers, County Engineers and Roadside Managers

Potential Partners

Iowa DOT, CCBs, SWCDs, County Farm Bureau Boards, Iowa DNR, Local and Regional Private Foundations

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Sign and stencil design, fabrication and installation, partner site agreements, dedications, press releases

Outcomes

Increased awareness of watershed boundaries, water flow and water cycles.

Evaluation Metrics

Implementation sites and numbers, road traffic numbers (views of road signs)

Description

Northeast Iowa RC&D has already developed a website for the UWR WMA. This activity is ongoing management of the UWR website, which provides important, current, information on relevant topics including water monitoring data, publications, recreation information, resources, and WMA updates. It also includes development of social media associated with those same topics, which would reach a different audience.

Target Audience

General Public

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, RC&D, SWCDs, and other Contributing Private and Public Partners, Agencies and Organizations

Potential Partners

Local, Regional and State Partners, Organizations and Agencies

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Develop and continuously update content. Promote via social media, partner websites and press releases.

Outcomes

Watershed residents and visitors have continuous access to information about the watershed. Home for watershed information.

Evaluation Metrics

Unique visits

Description

This activity will develop a consistent UWR WMA “brand” so that all the education and informational materials have the same look, including printed materials, the WMAs website, mass media, informational and educational outreach materials developed by and for the UWR WMA. This will include layout and design of interpretive kiosks, watershed signs, billboards, brochures, postcards and any other educational materials developed by or for the UWR WMA.

Target Audience

Watershed residents, students, leaders, partners, and visitors

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, WMA member organizations, RC&D

Potential Partners

Producer organizations, Local and Regional Nonprofits, CCBs

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Input meetings with WMA Board or committee, selection of specific characteristics such as colors, fonts, style and other, draft brand review and final selection of branding characteristics, draft component design standards for specific types of education and outreach

Outcomes

A unified, consistent and cohesive education and outreach effort that is highly recognizable as being associated with the UWR WMA. Increased public awareness of, understanding of, and support for, watershed resiliency and future implementation of BMPs on private and public properties

Evaluation Metrics

Number of unique component design standards that are utilized and the overall number of times the design standards are applied

Description

This activity will develop and distribute promotional materials to attract the attention, engage and educate each of the WMA target audiences, including, but not limited to promotional materials such as brochures, banners, posters, displays, press releases billboards, and 1-page or postcard handouts and mailings.

Target Audience

General Public. Targeted audiences including Producers, Community Members, Landowners, Homeowners, Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, CCB, SWCDs, RC&D, ISU Extension, City Stormwater Boards, County Departments and other Partners depending on target audiences

Potential Partners

SWCDs, CCBs, RC&D, NRCS, ISU Extension, IDALS Producer Agencies, Cities, Conservation Groups depending on target audiences

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Identify topics and focus areas for publications and specific target groups, design, develop and print/fabricate promotional materials, Identify partner funders and distribute

Outcomes

Promote watershed concepts and increase familiarity with watershed resiliency, water quality, flood prevention, conservation, BMPs, urban stormwater runoff practices, and other WMA priority issues

Evaluation Metrics

Number of materials distributed, traffic/views of billboards and banners

Description

This activity will develop a series of public workshops for residents who might be interested in learning more about building stormwater practices at home. The public workshops will cover simple-to-construct and manage best management practices for homeowners, such as how to construct rain barrels, install native plantings, rain gardens, or native turf, roof water collection, installation of grassed pavers for sidewalks, etc. It may be implemented in combination with city cost-share or grants secured for private BMP implementation.

Target Audience

General Public, Urban Homeowners.

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, WMA Cities, and City Storm Water Management Boards

Potential Partners

SWCDs, CCBs, Producer Groups, ISU Extension, Local and Regional Nonprofits, RC&D, Schools, Local Businesses and Colleges, Local Churches and Museums, Local Landscapers and Garden Shops

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Development of Workshop content and schedule, promotion and coordination with city and city stormwater management boards

Outcomes

Increase the visibility of low-cost, easy-to-maintain BMPs and general awareness of water conservation and management. Increase familiarity with urban BMPs.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of participants in workshops, number of practices implemented

Description

This project will recognize and work with producers and other watershed residents who have implemented urban and rural stormwater runoff practices. The participants and their practices will be professionally photographed so the WMA Board and partners have photos of local producers and practices to incorporate into UWR WMA promotional and educational materials that support the implementation of the WMA Plan. The participating producers will also be interviewed so they can be quoted in publications as well.

Target Audience

General Public and Producers

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, SWCDs, CCBs, ISU Extension, RC&D, Producer Groups

Potential Partners

ISU Extension, CCBs, RC&D, Producer Groups, SWCDs,

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Identify specific use of photographs and goals of specific outreach efforts and then identify appropriate producers and practices to meet the goals. Secure photographs, video and other visual media and incorporate into print and social media efforts.

Outcomes

Increased participation and implementation in flood reduction and water quality improvement practices. Increase pride in participation and peer encouragement

Evaluation Metrics

Number of participating producers and number of practices photographed, number of different media developed and number distributed

Description

This activity will include regular development and distribution of a paper and/or e-newsletters that will include updates to watershed residents about UWR WMA activities, programs, incentives, successes, how to participate, etc. It may include producer/resident and practice photographs and/or testimonies.

Target Audience

General Public and Producers

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, UWR WMA Board and Coordinator

Potential Partners

SWCDs, Cities, Counties, RC&D, Producers, Residents

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Develop and distribute newsletter. Identify target audience and develop USPS and/or e-mailing lists.

Outcomes

Increased participation and implementation in flood reduction and water quality improvement practices. Increase pride in participation and peer encouragement. Increased awareness of UWR WMA activities. Overall improved communications between WMA Board and Coordinator and watershed residents.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of newsletters distributed

Description

This activity will recognize UWR leadership by establishing a UWR WMA Producer Leader of the Year award, a UWR WMA Urban Leader of the Year award, and a UWR WMA Youth Leader of the Year award. These awards may be presented in an independent ceremony or in partnership with UWR SWCDs or others who already distribute awards annually.

Target Audience

General Public, Producers who are implementing practices that help improve watershed resiliency, City Residents who are implementing urban conservation practices or leading urban initiatives, Youth who are implementing conservation practices or leading urban/rural initiatives

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, SWCDs, Cities, WMA Partners

Potential Partners

Conservation Districts of Iowa, Producer Groups, Local businesses, IDALS, Local and Regional Nonprofits

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Develop nomination criteria, promote the program, develop a selection committee, identify sponsors, present award

Outcomes

Increased participation and implementation in flood reduction and water quality improvement practices. Increase pride in participation and peer encouragement

Evaluation Metrics

Number of nominations, press coverage

Description

The StormReady Program

“helps arm America’s communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property – before, during and after the event. Using a grassroots approach, it helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen local safety programs”

Target Audience

General Public

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, UWR WMA Emergency Managers, Counties and Cities

Potential Partners

National Weather Service, UWR WMA Emergency Managers, Counties and Cities

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Encourage cities, counties, colleges, and other groups to become StormReady by 1) establishing a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center 2) having more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public 3) creating a system that monitors weather conditions locally 4) promoting the importance of public readiness through community seminars 5) developing a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

Outcomes

Increased emergency preparedness and understanding of flood and other emergency issues, increased awareness of emergency management

Evaluation Metrics

Number of StormReady entities in the UWRW

Description

There are local, state and federal laws that protect and/or promote watershed resiliency, such as the state law prohibiting mowing ditches adjacent to agricultural land. Educating watershed landowners about those laws will help increase overall watershed resiliency.

Target Audience

General Public, Producers and Urban Homeowners

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, cities, and counties

Potential Partners

Producer organizations, Local and Regional Nonprofits, CCBs

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

1) Research, compile and share information about local, state and federal laws and regulations that direct land use and prohibit specific practices. 2) Identify and/or create information that can be distributed to the public 3) Work with partners to distribute information to the public.

Outcomes

Increased understanding and awareness of local, state and federal laws and why they are important to watershed resiliency

Evaluation Metrics

Number of new informational pieces available for publication and number of informational pieces distributed in the UWRW by type, audience, and volume

Description

The WMAs of Iowa rely on WMA Boards and stakeholders to education and inform their legislators about the need for WMA funding, and advocate for legislation that provides for a watershed approach to address significant flood and water quality protection.

Target Audience

Legislators

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, WMA Board members

Potential Partners

WMA stakeholders

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Develop a one page handout/white paper that provides clear concise information

Outcomes

Better informed WMA Board and stakeholders, stronger WMA, better informed legislators, increase funding for the WMAs in Iowa

Evaluation Metrics

Number of entities requesting white paper, number of legislators supporting legislative action related to WMA funding

Strategy 2: Encourage farmers and landowners to implement agricultural practices that conserve soil and improve water infiltration.

Description

This activity will implement field days that are educational events on local farms. Producers will voluntarily participate. The farms that are selected will have already implemented practices that the UWR WMA is promoting. Topics could range from cover crops, no-till and other soil conservation practices implemented on working land, to structural practices such as ponds and on-road structures.

Target Audience

Producers, Landowners

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, Producers, SWCDs, NRCS, IDALS, Producer Groups, CCBs, RC&D, ISU Extension,

Potential Partners

Producers, SWCDs, NRCS, IDALS, Producer Groups, ISU Extension, CCBs Local and Regional Nonprofits, County Engineers

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Coordination of event and speakers, invitations, press releases and promotion in local media and through partners, secure donations for meals, develop handouts, video and post event activities on social media

Outcomes

Increased dialog, familiarity, understanding of, and comfort with, watershed resiliency, agricultural BMPs and structures

Evaluation Metrics

Number of Producers and producers who attend events. Enrollment in related farm programs and/or number of Producers requesting follow-up assistance from farm agency staff.

Description

These activities will provide support for individual watershed residents who want to host landowners from a specific sub-watersheds, subwatershed area or social group, at the host’s house to talk about watershed resiliency, challenges within a defined land area and potential projects and solutions the group could implement in their rural or urban “neighborhood”. The support provided may include things like giving a presentation, providing maps and handouts, helping with development and mailing of the invitations, etc.

Target Audience

Neighborhood Associations and Groups, Producers and Landowners within a subwatershed or common land area, other public and private groups within a defined sub-watershed area or within a defined social sector or group

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, Watershed Residents, Producers, Neighborhood Associations and Social Groups

Potential Partners

SWCDs, NRCS, CCBs, Producer Groups, ISU Extension, RC&D, Youth Groups, Church Groups, Community and Social Groups

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Invitations and personal outreach and promotion, agendas, supporting maps and information, speakers and presentations as requested, technical expertise for follow-up projects

Outcomes

Empowered watershed residents who want to conduct farmer-to-farmer and neighbor-to-neighbor outreach that considers and addresses watershed resiliency concerns within a HUC 12 or within a defined land area or neighborhood. Increased public and private understanding, support for and implementation of BMPs and resiliency projects.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of meetings held, number of participants at meetings, and the number of projects implemented as a result of the meetings.

Description

This activity will result in the adoption of watershed concepts and water conservation practices in middle and high school agricultural education programs. It will also develop FFA experiences that focus on or include water conservation as a key component.

Target Audience

Children & Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, School Teachers, Districts and Administrators including but not limited to Agricultural Educators, SWCDs, ISU Extension, CCBs Parents, Producer Groups

Potential Partners

SWCDs, FFA, ISU Extension, NRCS, Farm agencies, Producer Groups, RC&D, 4H

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Work with high school and middle school ag teachers who already cover the topics to do outreach to colleagues in other districts. Make curricula, lesson plans and activities available to interested teachers. Work with interested FFA and 4H chapters to increase interest in watersheds within those programs.

Outcomes

Foster a culture of stewardship and increase familiarity with agricultural BMPs and structures among youth who will grow into Producers, farm leaders, and community leaders.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of teachers including watersheds and water conservation practices & structures in their curricula, number of students exposed, number of 4H projects and FFA agricultural experiences

Description

This activity will develop 7-12 grade school field trips to UWR farms that have implemented practices that are promoted by the UWR WMA Board. The school farm field trips will include opportunities for student classes to interact with farmer-conservation leaders and see first-hand agricultural BMPs.

Target Audience

Children & Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, Producers, SWCDs, NRCS, Teachers (esp. Ag teachers & FFA leaders) ISU Extension

Potential Partners

SWCDs, School districts, teachers, FFA, ISU Extension, SWCDs, NRCS, Farm agencies, Producer Agencies, 4H

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Work with high school and middle school ag teachers who already cover the topics to do outreach to colleagues in other districts, and with NRCS, and Farm and Producer Agencies to find Producers to host field days close to schools.

Outcomes

Foster a culture of stewardship and increase familiarity with agricultural BMPs and structures among youth who will grow into Producers, farm leaders, and community leaders. Recognize and honor the leadership of farmer-conservationists.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of field trips, number of different schools participating, number of students participating

Description

This activity will develop and distribute promotional materials to attract the attention, engage and educate each of the WMA target audiences, including, but not limited to promotional materials such as brochures, banners, posters, displays, press releases billboards, and 1-page or postcard handouts and mailings.

Target Audience

General Public. Targeted audiences including Producers, Community Members, Landowners, Homeowners, Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, CCB, SWCDs, RC&D, ISU Extension, City Stormwater Boards, County Departments and other Partners depending on target audiences

Potential Partners

SWCDs, CCBs, RC&D, NRCS, ISU Extension, IDALS Producer Agencies, Cities, Conservation Groups depending on target audiences

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Identify topics and focus areas for publications and specific target groups, design, develop and print/fabricate promotional materials, Identify partner funders and distribute

Outcomes

Promote watershed concepts and increase familiarity with watershed resiliency, water quality, flood prevention, conservation, BMPs, urban stormwater runoff practices, and other WMA priority issues

Evaluation Metrics

Number of materials distributed, traffic/views of billboards and banners

Description

This project will recognize and work with producers and other watershed residents who have implemented urban and rural stormwater runoff practices. The participants and their practices will be professionally photographed so the WMA Board and partners have photos of local producers and practices to incorporate into UWR WMA promotional and educational materials that support the implementation of the WMA Plan. The participating producers will also be interviewed so they can be quoted in publications as well.

Target Audience

General Public and Producers

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, SWCDs, CCBs, ISU Extension, RC&D, Producer Groups

Potential Partners

ISU Extension, CCBs, RC&D, Producer Groups, SWCDs,

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Identify specific use of photographs and goals of specific outreach efforts and then identify appropriate producers and practices to meet the goals. Secure photographs, video and other visual media and incorporate into print and social media efforts.

Outcomes

Increased participation and implementation in flood reduction and water quality improvement practices. Increase pride in participation and peer encouragement

Evaluation Metrics

Number of participating producers and number of practices photographed, number of different media developed and number distributed

Description

This activity will include regular development and distribution of a paper and/or e-newsletters that will include updates to watershed residents about UWR WMA activities, programs, incentives, successes, how to participate, etc. It may include producer/resident and practice photographs and/or testimonies.

Target Audience

General Public and Producers

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, UWR WMA Board and Coordinator

Potential Partners

SWCDs, Cities, Counties, RC&D, Producers, Residents

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Develop and distribute newsletter. Identify target audience and develop USPS and/or e-mailing lists.

Outcomes

Increased participation and implementation in flood reduction and water quality improvement practices. Increase pride in participation and peer encouragement. Increased awareness of UWR WMA activities. Overall improved communications between WMA Board and Coordinator and watershed residents.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of newsletters distributed

Description

There are local, state and federal laws that protect and/or promote watershed resiliency, such as the state law prohibiting mowing ditches adjacent to agricultural land. Educating watershed landowners about those laws will help increase overall watershed resiliency.

Target Audience

General Public, Producers and Urban Homeowners

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, cities, and counties

Potential Partners

Producer organizations, Local and Regional Nonprofits, CCBs

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

1) Research, compile and share information about local, state and federal laws and regulations that direct land use and prohibit specific practices. 2) Identify and/or create information that can be distributed to the public 3) Work with partners to distribute information to the public.

Outcomes

Increased understanding and awareness of local, state and federal laws and why they are important to watershed resiliency

Evaluation Metrics

Number of new informational pieces available for publication and number of informational pieces distributed in the UWRW by type, audience, and volume

Strategy 3: Promote greater understanding of best practices for urban stormwater management, and develop champions for watershed protection among community leaders.

Description

This activity includes development and implementation of guided tours of UWR implemented projects and/or practices especially the practices implemented through the Iowa Watershed Approach Project. It also includes tours of urban conservation practices in UWR communities, tours of the NE Iowa RC&D’s Urban Stormwater Demonstration Site, and other urban and rural sites residents, leaders, and visitors can go to see first-hand examples of the urban and rural practices being promoted by the UWR WMA Board. It may include bus tours and will include a guide who explains the practices to the participants.

Target Audience

Community and county leaders. City officials and city staff. Community-level partners, including staff, members and boards of Master Gardeners, Downtown Betterment, Chamber of Commerce, Park and Recreation, school boards and administrations, businesses and any other community members that might implement urban stormwater practices.

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, NRCS, SWCDs, CCBs, ISU Extension, RC&D, Cities with existing stormwater BMPs

Potential Partners

County Engineers, ISWEP, USFWS, NFWF, Alliant Energy, Local Schools, Iowa Flood Center, IIHR, EPA, Local Businesses, Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Betterment, Master Gardeners, 4-H, Eagle Scouts, Local Churches and other partners interested in investing in Watershed Resiliency

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Event planning, scheduling, site summaries, invitations to, educational events/tours, publicity, secure partners, donations for meals, speakers and transportation as needed, coordination with property owners, post event activities on social media

Outcomes

Increased dialog, familiarity, understanding of, and comfort with, watershed resiliency, and urban and rural BMPs

Evaluation Metrics

The number of tours, participants, entities (such as cities, counties, and organizations) attending/represented.

Description

This activity is intended to bring interested watershed residents together to hear about the UWR WMA’s efforts and plan over a meal. A host would give an Informational talk during a meal (breakfast, lunch or supper). Topics may include urban stormwater management, the importance of protecting vulnerable populations, on-road structures, rural BMPs, local water resources, potential local policy, WMA project updates, and other education & programming.

Target Audience

General Public, Community Leaders, Decision Makers, Ag Lenders, Chamber of Commerce

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, SWCDs and other WMA members and partners

Potential Partners

Chamber of Commerce, Community Betterment Groups, Ag Lender Groups, Local Banks, ISWEP, IDALS, NRCS, Producer Groups, ISU Extension, CCBs

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Develop, coordinate, promote and present a series of topics, press releases, direct invitations to target audience. Identify, secure and coordinate sponsors, space, meal, and speakers

Outcomes

Increased familiarity and comfort with the WMA, urban and rural BMPs, watershed resiliency, and the return on investment for implementation of practices. Increased understanding and appreciation for the resource

Evaluation Metrics

Number of events, number of partner, sponsorships, and attendance

Description

This activity will implement K-12 School field trips to sites that support conservation, including but not limited to the RC&D’s new Urban Stormwater Demonstration Site and other watershed resiliency focused sites as well as recycling, habitat restoraiton, ag tours and other guided tours that demonstrate multiple BMPs and provide interactive lessons.

Target Audience

Children & Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, School Teachers, Districts and Administrators, CCBs, SWCDs, RC&D

Potential Partners

School Districts, Teachers and Administrators, CCBs, SWCDs, RC&D, Area Education Agencies, Local and Regional Nonprofits

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Development of off-school grounds field trip options that welcome school groups, have interpretation, programming and hands-on learning opportunities, recruit sponsors and partners to help pay for school travel expenses, equipment, and engagement. Assist with development of site amenities when needed.

Outcomes

Foster a culture of stewardship and environmental leadership among youth who will grow into community members and leaders. Create a sense of connection and relevance that fosters life-long responsibility and engagement. Secondary effect of parents learning through conversation with kids, take-home materials and projects in the community.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of quality field trip sites available, number of field trips taken, number of different schools participating, number of students participating

Description

This activity will develop and distribute promotional materials to attract the attention, engage and educate each of the WMA target audiences, including, but not limited to promotional materials such as brochures, banners, posters, displays, press releases billboards, and 1-page or postcard handouts and mailings.

Target Audience

General Public. Targeted audiences including Producers, Community Members, Landowners, Homeowners, Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, CCB, SWCDs, RC&D, ISU Extension, City Stormwater Boards, County Departments and other Partners depending on target audiences

Potential Partners

SWCDs, CCBs, RC&D, NRCS, ISU Extension, IDALS Producer Agencies, Cities, Conservation Groups depending on target audiences

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Identify topics and focus areas for publications and specific target groups, design, develop and print/fabricate promotional materials, Identify partner funders and distribute

Outcomes

Promote watershed concepts and increase familiarity with watershed resiliency, water quality, flood prevention, conservation, BMPs, urban stormwater runoff practices, and other WMA priority issues

Evaluation Metrics

Number of materials distributed, traffic/views of billboards and banners

Description

This activity will develop a series of public workshops for residents who might be interested in learning more about building stormwater practices at home. The public workshops will cover simple-to-construct and manage best management practices for homeowners, such as how to construct rain barrels, install native plantings, rain gardens, or native turf, roof water collection, installation of grassed pavers for sidewalks, etc. It may be implemented in combination with city cost-share or grants secured for private BMP implementation.

Target Audience

General Public, Urban Homeowners.

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, WMA Cities, and City Storm Water Management Boards

Potential Partners

SWCDs, CCBs, Producer Groups, ISU Extension, Local and Regional Nonprofits, RC&D, Schools, Local Businesses and Colleges, Local Churches and Museums, Local Landscapers and Garden Shops

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Development of Workshop content and schedule, promotion and coordination with city and city stormwater management boards

Outcomes

Increase the visibility of low-cost, easy-to-maintain BMPs and general awareness of water conservation and management. Increase familiarity with urban BMPs.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of participants in workshops, number of practices implemented

Description

This project will recognize and work with producers and other watershed residents who have implemented urban and rural stormwater runoff practices. The participants and their practices will be professionally photographed so the WMA Board and partners have photos of local producers and practices to incorporate into UWR WMA promotional and educational materials that support the implementation of the WMA Plan. The participating producers will also be interviewed so they can be quoted in publications as well.

Target Audience

General Public and Producers

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, SWCDs, CCBs, ISU Extension, RC&D, Producer Groups

Potential Partners

ISU Extension, CCBs, RC&D, Producer Groups, SWCDs,

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Identify specific use of photographs and goals of specific outreach efforts and then identify appropriate producers and practices to meet the goals. Secure photographs, video and other visual media and incorporate into print and social media efforts.

Outcomes

Increased participation and implementation in flood reduction and water quality improvement practices. Increase pride in participation and peer encouragement

Evaluation Metrics

Number of participating producers and number of practices photographed, the number of different media developed and number distributed

Description

This activity will include regular development and distribution of a paper and/or e-newsletters that will include updates to watershed residents about UWR WMA activities, programs, incentives, successes, how to participate, etc. It may include producer/resident and practice photographs and/or testimonies.

Target Audience

General Public and Producers

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, UWR WMA Board and Coordinator

Potential Partners

SWCDs, Cities, Counties, RC&D, Producers, Residents

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Develop and distribute newsletter. Identify target audience and develop USPS and/or e-mailing lists.

Outcomes

Increased participation and implementation in flood reduction and water quality improvement practices. Increase pride in participation and peer encouragement. Increased awareness of UWR WMA activities. Overall improved communications between WMA Board and Coordinator and watershed residents.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of newsletters distributed

Description

There are local, state and federal laws that protect and/or promote watershed resiliency, such as the state law prohibiting mowing ditches adjacent to agricultural land. Educating watershed landowners about those laws will help increase overall watershed resiliency.

Target Audience

General Public, Producers and Urban Homeowners

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, cities, and counties

Potential Partners

Producer organizations, Local and Regional Nonprofits, CCBs

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

1) Research, compile and share information about local, state and federal laws and regulations that direct land use and prohibit specific practices. 2) Identify and/or create information that can be distributed to the public 3) Work with partners to distribute information to the public.

Outcomes

Increased understanding and awareness of local, state and federal laws and why they are important to watershed resiliency

Evaluation Metrics

Number of new informational pieces available for publication and number of informational pieces distributed in the UWRW by type, audience, and volume

Strategy 4: Engage students and youth, the next generation of community leaders, in watershed education and improvement projects.

Description

This activity is organized events for K-12 children and youth in informal education settings. It could include hands-on projects, like building rain barrels, or outdoor recreation activities like canoeing clean-ups, playing with a stream table during a public library youth program time, learning about trout and how to fish through a Park and Recreation program, or creative water activities at a fair or festival.

Target Audience

Children & Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, SWCDs, CCBs, School Clubs 4H and Scout Groups, Daycare Providers, Libraries, Fair, Festival and Event Organizers, RC&D

Potential Partners

Teachers, School Administrators, Education Professionals, ISU Extension K-12 program staff, CCBs, Libraries, Youth Organizations, Camps, RC&D, Faith-based Youth Groups

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Identify existing programs, festivals, events and activities that draw youth or would like to draw youth. Develop and provide program activity kits that empower partners and foster fun learning about watershed resiliency, water quality, best management practices, and other related topics. Promote use of the activity kits.

Outcomes

Foster a culture of stewardship and environmental leadership among youth who will grow into community members and leaders. A secondary effect of parents learning through conversation with kids, take-home materials and projects in the community

Evaluation Metrics

Number of events that refer to and/or use program activity kits to inform the implementation of youth water conservation programming, participation in events.

Description

This activity is intended to introduce conservation issues through creative methods including music, dance, theater and visual art events that relate back to watersheds, stewardship of water, and stormwater management.

Target Audience

General Public, Children & Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, Event Organizers, Communities, Schools, Artists: Singers, Songwriters, Composers, Dancers, Actors, Visual Artists, etc.

Potential Partners

Communities, Schools, Event Planners, Arts, Theater and Music Organizations and Businesses. K-12 School Art & Music Programs, College Art & Music Programs, Cultural Organizations. Local Businesses, RC&D, Event Organizers, Fair Boards

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Create a regional forum that fosters dialog about how water and art can enhance events, festivals, and fairs and shares activities and programs that can be used by interested parties and partners. Encourage planners to incorporate stormwater and watershed education into existing events, festivals and fairs.

Outcomes

Increased engagement related to water, increased public awareness of, understanding of and support for water resources

Evaluation Metrics

Number of forum users, number of activities and programs shared, number of activities and programs implemented, participation in activities and programs.

Description

This activity recognizes and coordinates local activities with world efforts to draw attention to the UWRW. It includes coordinating and promoting a week of events & media around watershed concepts during World Water Week and Earth Day Week. It could include a local media blitz, youth classes/activities, river cleanup outing, mini film festival, BMP tours, field day(s), fishing tournament, canoeing/kayaking races, pool party, nature hikes, art contest, block party, etc.

Target Audience

General Public, Children & Youth, Tourists/visitors

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, Community Leaders, Private Nonprofit Environmental Organizations, City Park and Recreation Departments, CCBs, SWCDs, ISU Extension

Potential Partners

Local Water-Related Business Owners such as Outfitters, Guides, etc., Chamber Offices, Tourism Offices, County Sanitarians, CCBs, Parks & Recreation, Hotel Motel Boards, SWCDs, ISU Extension

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Outreach to potential partners, coordination and promotion of multiple events within the UWR Watershed before and during the watershed week, follow-up social media and press releases

Outcomes

Increased awareness of UWR Watershed, water quality, flood prevention, resiliency concepts, and BMPs. Increased support for the implementation of urban and rural BMPs, supporting local policy, and public and private water management. Increased watershed awareness, responsibility, and stewardship.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of events held during the target week, participation in each activity/event, number of related media events and web post/likes, shares, traffic

Description

This activity will provide support and assistance to teachers and schools who want to implement a Water Rocks (ISU) Program. Water Rocks is a statewide youth water education campaign that can lead to long term, multi-generational learning. It challenges and inspires a greater appreciation of water resources. The local school has to raise funds or secure a sponsor to participate.

Target Audience

Children & Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, School Teachers, Districts and Administrators, CCBs, SWCDs, RC&D

Potential Partners

ISU Extension and Outreach, Iowa DNR, Iowa Water Center, Iowa Learning Farms, USDA National Inst. For Food and Agriculture, EPA

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Promotion of the Water Rocks Program to UWR Watershed Schools, Assistance with fundraising for implementation and promotion

Outcomes

Increase participation in Water Rock program. Long-term multi-generational learning about water resources,

Evaluation Metrics

Water Rocks Program participation within the watershed

Description

This activity will help increase the availability of and quality of curricula and hands-on activities that are easily accessible for K-12 teachers to use in their classrooms. It would include curricula related to watersheds, watershed resiliency, water quality, water conservation, in-stream and near stream habitat, urban and rural BMPs, stormwater management, and other related concepts. It will also increase support for and opportunities for students to actively participate in related service projects through schools (development of rain gardens, rain barrel building workshops, etc.) in the watershed.

Target Audience

Children & Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, School Teachers, Districts and Administrators, SWCDs, RC&D, ISU Extension

Potential Partners

School Districts, Teachers and Administrators, SWCDs, ISU Extension, RC&D, Area Education Agencies, Local and Regional Nonprofits

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Development of an online database of tools and resources for teachers including but not limited to high-quality curricula, hand-on activities, and links. Development and implementation of RC&D Stormwater Education curricula and program

Outcomes

Foster a culture of stewardship and environmental leadership among youth who will grow into community members and leaders. A secondary effect of parents learning through conversation with kids, take-home materials and projects in the community.

Evaluation Metrics

The number of teachers that add watersheds to their curricula and/or expand watershed units. Number of students participating in watershed units, implementation of BMPs by students, number of service projects by students

Description

This activity will develop and implement a fun children/youth program that requires students to complete a series of educational requirements and tasks that qualify them as “Watershed Guardians”. Once the tasks are completed, the students will receive a reward for their effort, such as a backpack pull in the shape of a fish.

Target Audience

Children & Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, RC&D

Potential Partners

School Districts, Teachers, SWCDs, CCB, Park and Rec, Cities

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Development of River Guardian Program guidelines, recruit partner organizations and sponsors, create rewards/recognition for achievement

Outcomes

Individual pride in learning about and implementation of stormwater practices. Peer encouragement to participate in River Guardian activities

Evaluation Metrics

Number of River Guardians

Description

This activity will implement K-12 School field trips to sites that support conservation, including but not limited to the RC&D’s new Urban Stormwater Demonstration Site and other watershed resiliency focused sites as well as recycling, habitat restoration, ag tours and other guided tours that demonstrate multiple BMPs and provide interactive lessons.

Target Audience

Children & Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, School Teachers, Districts and Administrators, CCBs, SWCDs, RC&D

Potential Partners

School Districts, Teachers and Administrators, CCBs, SWCDs, RC&D, Area Education Agencies, Local and Regional Nonprofits

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Development of off-school grounds field trip options that welcome school groups, have interpretation, programming, and hands-on learning opportunities, recruit sponsors and partners to help pay for school travel expenses, equipment, and engagement. Assist with the development of site amenities when needed.

Outcomes

Foster a culture of stewardship and environmental leadership among youth who will grow into community members and leaders. Create a sense of connection and relevance that fosters life-long responsibility and engagement. The secondary effect of parents learning through conversation with kids, take-home materials and projects in the community.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of quality field trip sites available, number of field trips taken, number of different schools participating, number of students participating

Description

This activity will result in the adoption of watershed concepts and water conservation practices in middle and high school agricultural education programs. It will also develop FFA experiences that focus on or include water conservation as a key component.

Target Audience

Children & Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, School Teachers, Districts and Administrators including but not limited to Agricultural Educators, SWCDs, ISU Extension, CCBs Parents, Producer Groups

Potential Partners

SWCDs, FFA, ISU Extension, NRCS, Farm agencies, Producer Groups, RC&D, 4H

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Work with high school and middle school ag teachers who already cover the topics to do outreach to colleagues in other districts. Make curricula, lesson plans and activities available to interested teachers. Work with interested FFA and 4H chapters to increase interest in watersheds within those programs.

Outcomes

Foster a culture of stewardship and increase familiarity with agricultural BMPs and structures among youth who will grow into Producers, farm leaders, and community leaders.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of teachers including watersheds and water conservation practices & structures in their curricula, number of students exposed, number of 4H projects and FFA agricultural experiences

Description

This activity will develop 7-12 grade school field trips to UWR farms that have implemented practices that are promoted by the UWR WMA Board. The school farm field trips will include opportunities for student classes to interact with farmer-conservation leaders and see first-hand agricultural BMPs.

Target Audience

Children & Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, Producers, SWCDs, NRCS, Teachers (esp. Ag teachers & FFA leaders) ISU Extension

Potential Partners

SWCDs, School districts, teachers, FFA, ISU Extension, SWCDs, NRCS, Farm agencies, Producer Agencies, 4H,

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Work with high school and middle school ag teachers who already cover the topics to do outreach to colleagues in other districts, and with NRCS, and Farm and Producer Agencies to find Producers to host field days close to schools

Outcomes

Foster a culture of stewardship and increase familiarity with agricultural BMPs and structures among youth who will grow into Producers, farm leaders, and community leaders. Recognize and honor the leadership of farmer-conservationists.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of field trips, number of different schools participating, number of students participating

Description

This activity will develop and distribute promotional materials to attract the attention, engage and educate each of the WMA target audiences, including, but not limited to promotional materials such as brochures, banners, posters, displays, press releases billboards, and 1-page or postcard handouts and mailings.

Target Audience

General Public. Targeted audiences including Producers, Community Members, Landowners, Homeowners, Youth

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, CCB, SWCDs, RC&D, ISU Extension, City Stormwater Boards, County Departments and other Partners depending on target audiences

Potential Partners

SWCDs, CCBs, RC&D, NRCS, ISU Extension, IDALS Producer Agencies, Cities, Conservation Groups depending on target audiences

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Identify topics and focus areas for publications and specific target groups, design, develop and print/fabricate promotional materials, Identify partner funders and distribute

Outcomes

Promote watershed concepts and increase familiarity with watershed resiliency, water quality, flood prevention, conservation, BMPs, urban stormwater runoff practices, and other WMA priority issues

Evaluation Metrics

Number of materials distributed, traffic/views of billboards and banners

Description

This project will recognize and work with producers and other watershed residents who have implemented urban and rural stormwater runoff practices. The participants and their practices will be professionally photographed so the WMA Board and partners have photos of local producers and practices to incorporate into UWR WMA promotional and educational materials that support the implementation of the WMA Plan. The participating producers will also be interviewed so they can be quoted in publications as well.

Target Audience

General Public and Producers

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, SWCDs, CCBs, ISU Extension, RC&D, Producer Groups

Potential Partners

ISU Extension, CCBs, RC&D, Producer Groups, SWCDs,

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Identify specific use of photographs and goals of specific outreach efforts and then identify appropriate producers and practices to meet the goals. Secure photographs, video and other visual media and incorporate into print and social media efforts.

Outcomes

Increased participation and implementation in flood reduction and water quality improvement practices. Increase pride in participation and peer encouragement

Evaluation Metrics

The number of participating producers, the number of practices photographed, the number of different media developed, and the number distributed

Description

This activity will include regular development and distribution of a paper and/or e-newsletters that will include updates to watershed residents about UWR WMA activities, programs, incentives, successes, how to participate, etc. It may include producer/resident and practice photographs and/or testimonies.

Target Audience

General Public and Producers

Key Messengers

WMA Coordinator, UWR WMA Board and Coordinator

Potential Partners

SWCDs, Cities, Counties, RC&D, Producers, Residents

Methods/Vehicles to Maximize

Develop and distribute newsletter. Identify target audience and develop USPS and/or e-mailing lists.

Outcomes

Increased participation and implementation in flood reduction and water quality improvement practices. Increase pride in participation and peer encouragement. Increased awareness of UWR WMA activities. Overall improved communications between WMA Board and Coordinator and watershed residents.

Evaluation Metrics

Number of newsletters distributed

Objective 5: Build the UWR WMA’s Long-term Capacity to Operate and Implement Projects

Strategy 1: Support UWR WMA participation in WMAs of Iowa meetings and events.

Strategy 2: Support UWR WMA participation in WMAs of Iowa Board and WMAs of Iowa committees.

Strategy 3: Periodically develop, implement and analyze UWR WMA Watershed Resident Surveys to better understand public perception and attitudes, assess the UWR WMA’s impact on the watershed and to inform future WMA and partner work.

Strategy 4: Set aside time annually for the UWR WMA Board to plan for and discuss future WMA activities, funding, and sustainability.

Strategy 5: Educate legislators about the need for WMA funding, and advocate for legislation that provides for a watershed approach to address significant flood and water quality protection.

Strategy 6: Identify and pursue grants, partnerships, and other means for sustaining funding for flood reduction projects in the UWR Watershed.

Objective 6: Evaluate the Watershed Authority’s effectiveness and use the evaluation to inform future UWR WMA work.

Strategy 1: Develop measurable, defined objectives for overall WMA effectiveness that can and are reviewed annually.

Strategy 2: Evaluate the overall participation and accomplishments of the WMA partners on an annual basis, based on the agreed-upon measurable, defined objectives.

Strategy 3: Incorporate and review Evaluation Parameters for each Objective and Strategy included in the UWR WMA plan.

Strategy 4: Evaluate the effectiveness of the paid coordinator, and the UWR WMA’s need for and employment structure of UWR WMA staff.

Strategy 5: Develop and distribute an annual update to the UWR WMA Plan that includes a summary of all evaluations, updated measures for objectives and strategies based on those evaluations, and overall recommendations for UWR WMA efforts in the next year.