Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 19, 2018

Opportunity to participate in watershed planning process

Jan 04, 2018
PHOTO SUBMITTED The Cedar Creek Watershed Partnership Water Quality Initiative Project is 72,631 acres and is located in Wapello, Keokuk and Jefferson counties.

The Cedar Creek Water Quality Initiative Project is developing a watershed management plan to support individuals, groups, and businesses to improve water quality and soil health.

A dialogue about opportunities and concerns relevant to the watershed is set from 5:15-7:15 p.m. Jan. 11 at Pekin school. Anyone who lives, works, farms, or owns property in the watershed is encouraged to attend. Iowa Farm Bureau will provide a free supper to attendees. A reservation is requested, but not required.

“People who live, work, farm, and own property are the experts on what is going on in the watershed and what is needed to improve the quality of life for residents and ensure productive farm ground well into the future,” said Anna Bruen from Pathfinders RC&D, who is facilitating multiple conversations in the watershed.

This is the third and final meeting in a series where people connected to the watershed share what they know, what they don’t know, and what they want to know about the watershed, water quality, and soil health. The information shared will influence the watershed management plan’s goals and objectives in an effort to enhance the watershed.

“A watershed is an area of land where all the water flows to the same creek, stream, or river,” explained Lanessa Baker, Cedar Creek Watershed coordinator at the Wapello County Soil and Water Conservation District. “The Cedar Creek Partnership Project focuses on three adjoining watersheds that cross into Wapello, Keokuk and Jefferson counties: Buckeye Creek, Wolf Creek and Competine Creek. These watersheds lie within the Skunk River Watershed, which is a larger ‘priority watershed’ identified by the Iowa Water Resources Coordinating Council.”

The purpose of the Cedar Creek Partnership Project is to improve water quality in Buckeye Creek, Cedar Creek-Wolf Creek, Competine Creek and the Skunk River by reducing nitrogen and phosphorus loads. The partnership is one of 16 demonstration projects funded by the Water Quality Initiative. The WQI was established in 2013 to implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The goal of the NRS is a 45 percent reduction in the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus entering Iowa’s water bodies. The WQI takes a multifaceted approach to boost adoption of practices outlined in the NRS, including working with farmers, property owners, cities, and business owners on conservation practices.

“This project has been a large focus of the Wapello SWCD for several years, and we are excited to expand and be having such good conversations with people in the watershed. These meetings are a great way to learn more about what is already going on and share ideas about what you’d like to have happen,” said Neal McMullin Wapello County Soil and Water commissioner and watershed resident.

For more information, contact Bruen at 472-6177 or anna@pathfindersrcd.org.

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