The October 3 meeting of the ILO Board was held at the Wikiup Hill Learning Center, near Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In addition to all the usual Board stuff that happens, we heard speakers to share information on measures being undertaken in Linn County and elsewhere in Iowa to protect and improve water quality. Many Iowa Leagues sent members to this event.
The Cedar River begins in southern Minnesota, winding its way south through five of Iowa’s largest cities and some of the richest farmland on Earth. Urban impacts, excess fertilizers and hydrologic modification have changed the river, and developed areas face increased flood risks as wetlands that held water back are lost. Efforts are underway throughout the watershed to restore wetlands, reduce future flood damage and improve water quality. Read about some of these projects here.
At the UMRR’s Oct 3 meeting in Cedar Rapids, Tony Nemmers, Natural Resource Technician for Linn County Conservation spoke about wetland and oxbow reconstruction, and other water quality projects underway in Linn County. It really is amazing all that is being done in Linn County. Nemmers’ PowerPoint is available for viewing here, and includes many lovely projects that are improving water quality as well as storing water to reduce flood risks.
On November 8, Linn County’s voters were asked to approve a $40 million dollar water and lands bond referendum, which passed by a wide margin. Ryan Schlader from Linn County told our group about this referendum and what funds raised will be used for. Also at this meeting, Iowa LWV’s provided short reports in a lightning round from leagues in Eastern Iowa about water initiatives in their areas. It was good to have these local Leagues as part of our meeting!