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Conservation Partnership Day highlights watershed approach

Source: Clean Water Iowa

Many celebrated Iowa’s success in addressing nutrient runoff and improving water quality.

The Conservation Districts of Iowa (CDI) and State Soil Conservation and Water Quality Committee today observed Conservation Partnership Day at the state Capitol. Both organizations highlighted conservation efforts across the state through several informational displays.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig attended Monday’s celebration. Naig says the event highlights the importance of partnerships.

“Whether it’s our traditional watershed projects or the flood center looking at how we layer the benefits of conservation practices, it’s a great reminder that it takes a lot of partners and there’s a lot of benefits that come together,” Naig said.

Naig notes Iowa implemented a Nutrient Reduction Strategy nearly five years ago. Iowa State University states the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy aims to reduce nutrients in surface water from both point and nonpoint sources in a scientific, reasonable and cost-effective manner.

Naig adds he is proud of Iowa’s accomplishments with regards to the Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

“It’s a big goal: 45% reduction in the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus leaving our land and entering our lakes, rivers and streams. I’m proud of the work that’s gone on over the last five years. We’ve seen a lot of momentum. Now as we switch gears and look to scale-up, we move from a demonstration phase to an implementation phase,” Naig said.

Naig says there is still a lot of work to be done.

“We are encouraging all producers and landowners across the state to look with fresh eyes on their operation and think about things they can do differently,” Naig said. “Try something new.“As we look to the future – to improving our sustainability and resiliency in agriculture – I think it’s very important that producers look at conservation practices with new eyes.”