Cost-Share Available for Conservation Practices in Squaw Creek

(AMES, IOWA) – Prairie Rivers of Iowa is working with the local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) offices to provide funding for cost-share for conservation practices to farmers in the Squaw Creek Watershed. Funding for this effort is in cooperation with the Water Quality Initiative (WQI) from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and support from local partners. The Squaw Creek Watershed demonstration project is providing funding for farmers located in the watershed specifically for in-field practices, such as cover crops and no till at the state-wide WQI flat rate cost share rate, as well as fifty-percent cost share for edge of field practices, including saturated buffers. “The best use of these practices can vary from farm-to-farm and farmer-to-farmer,” said Hanna Bates, Watershed Coordinator for Prairie Rivers of Iowa. “By working with the conservation districts, it is our intent to build relationships with farmers and find what practices will work best for them while having an overall positive impact...
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Many from the Public attend the Squaw Creek Coalition Public Meeting

Many from the Public attend the Squaw Creek Coalition Public Meeting

On June 29th the Squaw Creek Watershed Coalition informational meeting was held at the Ames Public Library in the evening. Approximately 20 people came from the surrounding community to learn more about the Squaw Creek Watershed Management Plan.  Individuals from the community represented many different segments from the surrounding area, including Iowa State University students, urban residents, and farmers. Attendees asked questions about plan details and how Prairie Rivers of Iowa will assist in improving water quality in the watershed over the upcoming year. Erv Klaas, Vice President of the Prairie Rivers of Iowa Board of Directors, informed the public at the meeting about the current state of the water within our watershed and presented a summary of the Squaw Creek Watershed Management Plan. Key components of the plan are to increase the awareness and understanding of the watershed, improve the water quality, and to promote the practices that individuals can use to help improve our water quality. You can read the full...
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The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority has Adopted a Mission and Goals

Ames, Iowa (October 23, 2014) – The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority Board (SCWMA) has been meeting to place the final touches on their watershed management plan with the help of Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc. (EOR) from Oakdale, Minnesota (a water resource-based engineering and environmental consulting firm). At the Board’s last meeting, they adopted a mission and set some specific goals to achieve in the Squaw Creek Watershed.   The newly adopted mission statement is as follows: The mission of the Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority Board is to engage, educate and encourage all citizens to improve the health, stewardship and resiliency of our watershed resources.   The goals of the SCWMA are to work on restoring hydrology, improving water quality, creating recreational opportunities and increasing wildlife habitat within the watershed through an active watershed educational campaign and relying upon building partnerships. Pat Conrad, project manager with EOR stated, “The ultimate goal of the WMA is to transform Squaw Creek into a resource...
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IOWATER program is rolling out some big changes

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources IOWATER program is rolling out some big changes and want to keep the people informed. They are updating and creating some great resources to use if you are interested in Iowa waters. Check out all that is happening below and follow the links to learn more.   1. New Water Monitoring Atlas - The Iowa DNR has replaced the old Water Monitoring Atlas with a new version at: http://programs.iowadnr.gov/maps/watermonitoring/   2. IOWATER Workshops - They are now being scheduled. See the current schedule at www.iowadnr.gov/iowater and click on “Calendar of Events” for Introductory, Biological or Bacteria workshop in your area..   3. IOWATER Success Stories - Do you have a story of how IOWATER data are being used in your community (or school, or where ever), the DNR woule love to hear from you at www.iowadnr.gov/iowater   4. 69th Annual Soil and Water Conservation Society Meeting - This meeting will be held on July 27th – 30th,2014, Lombard, IL. For more information...
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See EOR’s Presentation on the Squaw Creek

Would you like to see the presentation and data that Emmons and Olivier Resources Inc. has presented to the Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority?  Check out their Water Quality Summary and their Stream Assessment presentations to read about their findings thus far.   Water Quality Summary Stream Assessment   A quick summary of their Key findings of the water quality and stream assessment: ·        The hydrology of Squaw Creek has been significantly altered. Flashy: Peak flow rates in the stream can be as much as 100x the base flow. ·        Monitoring data indicates that there are very high levels of nutrients (P and N) and bacteria. Boom/Bust dissolved oxygen cycles. ·        The manner in which past monitoring has been done makes it difficult to detect any trends. Recommendation is to focus effort at one or two sites along the creek and take more frequent baseflow and storm event samples. ·        Stream is NOT healthy: unstable, degraded habitat, carries large sediment load (without flushing it downstream)  ...
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Learning and Exploring the Outdoors

On May 6th, North Tama's 5th graders traveled to Ferguson Timbers in Marshalltown, Iowa to partake in their third and final capstone event of the school year.  The kids are in the midst of their environmental stewardship unit and are learning about the importance of certain things such as water quality.  The day was filled with learning about current environmental issues, the how to's of camping and basic survival skills, and just a general appreciation for the outdoors. The capstone event took place at Ferguson Timbers, an educational area under a conservation easement with Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.  The area had everything from wooded trails to rolling prairies and even a glimpse of the powerful Iowa River.  It was the perfect place for the kids to interact with the handful of experts that volunteered to share their expertise. Marlene Ehresman is the executive director of the Iowa Wildlife Center and she took the students on a nature hike where she showed the...
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Preserving and Protecting Our Water Resources

In honor of National Water and Soil Conservation Week, Kids on the Byway is dedicating this blog post to one of their partner programs, Upper Iowa University's Environmental Issues Instruction course.  EII is a graduate level course dedicated to teachers and other personnel that addresses how to teach environmental issues for grades K-12.  They do this with the following teaching model:  With this teaching model, the class is able to address multiple environmental issues every year and connect with Next Generation Science Standards as well as the Iowa Core.  This year's issue was focused on preserving and protecting our water resources. According to the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, "Although much of the discussion about climate change impacts has focused on increases in temperatures and the rise in sea level, changes that impact our nation's water resources could have the greatest impact on society" (2011).   According to the Department of Natural Resources, the major water quality problem in Iowa in nonpoint source pollution,...
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