The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Gulf of Mexico Program recently awarded the Iowa Department of Agriculture (IDALS) a $1.15 million cooperative agreement. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says funding will be used to install up to six wetlands in targeted locations.
“It’s going to be targeting counties in eastern Iowa, around Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls and Waterloo,” Naig said. “The things we learn by doing these projects are things we will be able to apply in other parts of the state.”
Each wetland seeks to improve water quality and habitat in the Middle Cedar River watershed. Secretary Naig says these wetlands will further assist the state in implementing Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
Naig believes, “Whether you live in the city or country, we all have a role to play.” He expresses his excitement for this public-private partnership, which will bring Iowans, who believe in preserving Iowa’s natural resources, together.
“What we like about them is we’re connecting the dots between urban and rural areas. Cities and rural communities (are) working together. We like that approach, and think it’ll have application across the state,” Naig said. “While these are focused in eastern Iowa, we’re going to be learning things and applying them across the state. (It’s) all about trying to help us scale up all of the work we’re doing in Iowa.”