Watersheds and Wildlife

The Watersheds and Wildlife Program works to improve water quality in our local rivers and lakes and to restore habitat for Iowa’s imperiled pollinators and wildlife.  We accomplish this work through robust education, monitoring, and partnership-building activities.

A  Story County Water Quality Monitoring & Interpretation Plan 2021 -2030 has been completed by Prairie Rivers of Iowa in partnership with the Story County Iowa Water Monitoring Planning Team. The supporting chapters of the report including maps and data analysis were prepared by Prairie Rivers of Iowa Watershed Educator Daniel Haug. Read the full report here

Story County Water Monitoring & Interpretation Plan 2021-2030

What we are learning is that many stakeholders have an interest in improving water quality, but guidelines for interpreting using water quality data is sorely lacking.

Most rivers and streams in Story County either do not meet the
recreation standard or have not been officially assessed.

Over 100 species of butterflies and 400 species of bees, along with many other species found in Iowa, need your attention.

Our goal is to create diverse habitats, and plant native prairies and grasslands to restore pollinator, bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian populations while improving soil health.


We are working with landowners to provide for Iowa’s pollinators and wildlife by mapping and cataloging flyways and ecosystems, assisting with small to large landowner habitat design, providing conservation assistance, harvesting and providing native seeds while conducting environmental outreach and education. 

What matters is the actions we are taking plus the information and relationships we have assembled puts local government, landowners, and our many partners in a good position to tackle these challenges!

Weather whiplash

Weather whiplash

Cover crops could be especially important next spring if we get rain. Weather whiplash (a dry fall followed by a wet spring) can flush accumulated nitrogen out of the soil, leading to elevated nitrate concentrations in rivers.

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Too close to call

Too close to call

There are plenty of parallels between polling and water, so if you’re looking to water quality monitoring to tell you whether or not conservation efforts in your watershed or your state are succeeding, read on. Short-term water quality trends are usually too close to call.

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David Stein
Watershed Coordinator

Dan Haug
Watershed Educator

Contact Watersheds and Wildlife