Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Receives $8 Million in Federal Funding to Build Upon Water Quality Projects in Targeted Watersheds
Funding will be used to scale up conservation projects in the North Racoon, Boone, Middle Cedar and South Skunk River watersheds
DES MOINES, Iowa (Oct. 7, 2021) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has received $8 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to help expand the habitat and water quality projects underway in priority watersheds, including around the North Racoon, Boone, Middle Cedar and South Skunk Rivers.
“I appreciate the continued financial support from USDA. When we leverage state, federal and private funding, we can add more conservation practices in targeted areas of the state where they have the greatest impact on habitat and water quality,” said Secretary Naig. “The Department is continuing to work alongside our public and private partners to build upon the progress and construction of wetlands and other proven water quality practices outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.”
This funding is made available through the NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
The Iowa Partners for Natural Infrastructure Project proposes to add 35 wetlands and 200 edge-of-field practices in priority watersheds in Iowa. Once they are installed, these practices will reduce an estimated 500,000 pounds of nitrogen per year. They also have the potential to sequester about 2 million pounds of carbon.
Key partners providing additional financial and technical support for the Iowa Partners for Natural Infrastructure Project will be provided by Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D), the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Sand County Foundation, Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition and Agri Drain Corporation.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is currently leading or participating in 13 RCPPs, including four RCPPs that received more than $40 million in federal funding in 2021. Working alongside its public and private partners, the Department has made progress towards achieving the goals outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The Department recently celebrated the completion of the 100th CREP-funded wetland in Buena Vista County. To date, there are at least 110 known, completed wetlands in the state. The Department and its partners have also helped add at least 41 saturated buffers and 15 bioreactors this year.
To learn more about the state’s ongoing soil health and water quality initiatives, visit cleanwateriowa.org.