ILF December Webinar To Focus On Wetlands

ILF December Webinar To Focus On Wetlands

Iowa CREP program provides financial incentives to install wetlands in targeted areas to reduce nitrate loads from tile-drained fields.

The Iowa Learning Farms' monthly webinar, will be on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 11:30 a.m., and will feature Bill Crumpton, Iowa State University professor in the department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, whose research focuses on wetlands.

The webinar is part of a free series, hosted by ILF, through Adobe Connect. The series is held on the third Wednesday of each month. A computer with Internet access is all that you need to participate. To connect to the webinar, go to: at 11:30 a.m. on the morning of the webinar and log using the guest option.

A NATURAL FILTER: Iowa State University research has shown that CREP constructed wetlands can remove 40% to 70% of nitrates and over 90% of herbicides from cropland drainage waters. The CREP program is available in 37 counties in Iowa, located in the north central part of the state.

Crumpton's research focuses on wetlands and their function in agricultural landscapes. He is studying nutrient transformation and the effects of agricultural contaminants within wetlands. He developed a model for nitrate loss in wetlands that receive nonpoint source water on a watershed scale. This model is used to site and design alternative wetlands, serving as the foundation for the Iowa Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program or CREP. The program provides financial incentives for farmers to install wetlands in targeted locations to reduce nitrate loads from tile-drained fields.

Research has shown that CREP wetlands can remove 40% to 70% of nitrates and over 90% of herbicides from cropland drainage waters. The CREP program is available in 37 Iowa counties in north central Iowa. The ILF website contains links for archived webinars from all previous sessions.  The webinar archive is also available in a podcast through iTunes.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~

Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa, the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Water Center.

Iowa Watershed Improvement Review Board makes funds available for water quality projects

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is encouraging eligible groups to apply for grants to support projects that will improve water quality in the state.  Approximately $1 million is available through the Watershed Improvement Review Board to support qualifying projects.

Funds are available to local watershed improvement committees, soil and water conservation districts, public water supply utilities, county conservation boards, cities and counties. Funds are typically matched with other funds by the organizations receiving assistance and will support a variety of projects across the state focusing on protecting water quality and improving the health of the state's waterway.

Projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, those addressing agricultural runoff and drainage, flood prevention, stream bank erosion, municipal discharge, storm water runoff, unsewered communities, industrial discharge and livestock runoff.  At least $146,000 will be awarded to support projects focused on implementing the Iowa Water Quality Initiative. Each project can request up to $300,000 in funding over three years.

February 28, 2014 deadline to apply for grants through Watershed Improvement Review Board

Potential applicants should review the RFA in full at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship website to make sure their proposal qualifies.

All applications are due on Friday, February 28, 2014 and will be reviewed in March 2014 by the Watershed Improvement Review Board. The Board is comprised of representatives from agriculture, drinking water and wastewater utilities, environmental organizations, agribusiness, the conservation community along with two state senators and two state representatives. A funding announcement is expected to be made in April. Application materials can be downloaded from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship website. To receive more information or ask questions, contact Jerry Neppel at 515-281-3599.

TAGS: USDA Extension
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