Naig: ‘New federal funding helps build upon water quality projects underway in the Floyd River watershed’

Three Regional Conservation Partnership Projects awarded additional funding from NRCS to scale up current conservation efforts

DES MOINES, Iowa (May 17, 2021) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship was awarded additional federal support to expand the conservation projects underway in the Floyd River watershed. The new federal funding will be used to help farmers and landowners add more conservation practices within the 577,000-acre watershed located in northwest Iowa.

“There is great conservation work happening in the Floyd River watershed. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has two demonstration projects underway, dedicated staff who provide technical support to the projects, and local farmers, landowners and partners who want to be involved,” said Secretary Naig. “We’re able to leverage the state’s investments and our proven results to get additional federal dollars, which helps us make a greater impact on soil health and water quality in this priority watershed.”

The Floyd River Water Quality Partnership, which includes the Department and the Sioux and Plymouth Soil and Water Conservation Districts, was awarded $3.2 million through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will contribute an additional $3.36 million to support the expansion of the current projects in the region. The Floyd River is one of nine priority HUC8 watersheds in the state of Iowa.

Watershed coordinators from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Sioux and Plymouth Soil and Water Conservation Districts will work alongside farmers, landowners and input suppliers to incorporate in-field and edge-of-field practices, nutrient management strategies and conservation tillage to reduce soil and nutrient losses.

Cedar River Source Water Partnership Project

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is also partnering with the City of Cedar Rapids and other municipalities and agricultural partners to improve water quality, protect drinking water, mitigate the risk of flooding and provide fish and wildlife habitats in the Cedar River watershed. The Cedar River Source Water Partnership Project received a $7 million contribution from USDA NRCS to continue investing in soil health and water quality practices upstream to benefit residents downstream. The Department will invest an additional $8 million and public-and-private partners will contribute $12.3 million to support the project.

Southeast Iowa Watershed Partnership Project

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is working alongside the Southeast Iowa Watershed Partnership, composed of twenty partner organizations, to accelerate the adoption of nutrient stewardship best practices in 15 counties. The project area is approximately 1.2 million acres and includes land near Cedar Creek, Lower Skunk River, South Skunk, Soap Creek, West Fork Crooked Creek and Long Creek. The Southeast Iowa Watershed Partnership was awarded more than $6.3 million of federal funding from USDA NRCS to support the project.  The Department will invest an additional $5 million, and public and private partners will contribute an additional $12.7 million to advance the conservation projects.

To learn more about the soil health and water quality work underway, visit CleanWaterIowa.org.

Map of the Floyd River watershed project area in northwest Iowa

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About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 14 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land and enhance water quality for the next generation. Learn more at iowaagriculture.gov.

Media Contact:
Keely Coppess
Communications Director
(515) 326-1616           
Keely.Coppess@IowaAgriculture.gov