but more funding is needed. You may have heard the news that EPA has earmarked $60million for nutrient reduction work in the 12 states of the Mississippi River basin. This is good news, but more is needed. In Iowa, a law was passed in 2010 that established the Iowa Water and Land Legacy fund, which will be funded when the sales tax is increased by 0.38%. This money will go to conservation programs. Those in Iowa need to lobby for inclusion of this amount in the state budget, McGovern urged. It is in the Governor's budget but the legislature must approve it to make it law. Now is the time for action.
Jared was excited to share about past successes in Iowa that prove that change CAN happen. He pointed to Iowa's success in reintroducing river otters to the state, a project begin in 1985 after the animals had been extirpated in (entirely removed from) Iowa. Thanks to efforts to rebuild habitat, reintroduce otters and protect growing populations, river otters are now found in most counties in Iowa. The success of the "There Oughta be Otters in Iowa" project proves that concerted efforts by Iowans can bring about major change.
Many thanks to Nancy Porter for organizing this event! And thanks to Jared McGovern for a great tour, and thanks to the Mississippi River Network for their support and leadership in developing River Days of Action events throughout the watershed! You can read the full report from the Mississippi River Network at this link.
|LWV Upper Mississippi River Region