3 Lessons from the Iowa Water Conference

3 Lessons from the Iowa Water Conference

Several of our staff attended the Iowa Water Conference on March 12 and 13.  The event brings together hundreds of smart, hard-working people that are working  to improve water quality, restore aquatic habitat, and control flooding across the state of Iowa.  We always learn a lot from both the presenters and the other attendees, and come away energized.  Here are our top three lessons we learned this year: 1. Farms can simultaneously improve water quality and wildlife habitat Adam Janke, Extension Wildlife Specialist, talked about how the practices being used for nutrient reduction can also benefit many of Iowa's species of greatest conservation need.  For example, trumpeter swans like CREP wetlands. Migrating ringneck ducks and Topeka shiners use oxbow wetlands.   Meadowlarks use prairie strips. We will be pursuing these kinds of synergies in three watersheds with a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant, so it was great to hear specifics. 2. Retailers of agricultural products need to be part of water quality solutions Chris...
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Iowa Master River Steward Program

"We speak for the rivers, because they can't speak for themselves," was the general theme of our river steward training led by Dr. Jim Pease over the last two days hosted by Iowa Rivers Revival. They have put together a thorough curriculum discussing watersheds, geologic landforms, topography, river form and function, navigating Iowa's waters, river wildlife, river chemistry and monitoring, agricultural production and policies, stream and riparian zone restoration including fish and wildlife habitat, and finally developing a river-health related project.   Now that I have been through the "Training the Facilitator Program", I am prepared, along with 17 other educators from across to state, to develop and host a Master River Steward Program in our watershed area. The idea is to develop a large group of river stewards who can spread the word about watershed and stream health across Iowa. At the beginning of the program each participant receives the Izaak Walton League's Handbook for Stream Enhancement & Stewardship and many more resources...
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