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Iowa Remains Focused on Improving Water Quality Across the State

Iowa Remains Focused on Improving Water Quality Across the State

March 23, 2022

Iowa Remains Focused on Improving Water Quality Across the State

Clean Water Iowa Starts Here tour begins third year highlighting progress by Linn County and the City of Cedar Rapids

DES MOINES, Iowa (March 23, 2022) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today helped kick-off the third year of the Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here campaign during a stop hosted by the City of Cedar Rapids.

“I am excited for the next phase of the Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here tour as Iowa continues to lead the way in innovative solutions and partnerships to improve water quality across the state,” said Secretary Naig. “This campaign gives us an opportunity to highlight the cities, rural communities, and farmers and landowners working together to make improvements from the farm to the faucet.”

The City of Cedar Rapids has been working alongside the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, farmers and county and local officials to implement conservation practices since 2015 when the Middle Cedar Partnership Project was launched. These successful partnerships have grown to include the Cedar River Source Water Regional Conservation Partnership Project, the Midwest Ag Water Quality Regional Conservation Project and the recently announced Cedar River Clean Water Partnership.

"Partnership projects put downstream water users, like the City of Cedar Rapids, at the same table as conservation entities and farmers," said Roy Hesemann, Utilities Director for the City of Cedar Rapids. "Connecting and collaborating with these partners has a lasting impact beyond the scope of any one project. Protecting water quality by supporting source water protection initiatives and existing watershed partnerships also supports our City's Community Climate Action Plan and sustainability efforts, by reducing nutrient-rich runoff into the Cedar River."

The City of Cedar Rapids received the Secretary’s award for Leadership in Conservation during the 10th annual Ag Leaders Dinner held on March 8, 2022.

About the Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here Campaign
The Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here campaign, created by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and Newsradio 1040 WHO, aims to raise awareness about the conservation work underway across Iowa, and encourages all Iowans to get personally involved in water quality activities. 

The Big Show will visit locations throughout Iowa showcasing the people and practices that are having a positive and measurable impact on water quality. The conversations with farmers, landowners, business operators and conservation leaders will be broadcast Wednesdays on The Big Show airing 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on WHO and 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. on WMT. 

The implementation of conservation practices isn’t limited to rural areas. Urban residents can do their part by keeping leaves, grass clippings and other yard debris out of the street and gutters and slowing runoff and recycling rainwater through rain barrels, rain gardens and swales. These practices act as a filter for oil, fertilizer and other pollutants to prevent them from running into the storm drains. Seeding pollinator habitats and properly disposing of paints, solvents and metals also have a positive impact on water quality.

Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here campaign partners include Agri-Drain, Hagie Manufacturing, Hands on Excavating, Heartland Co-op, Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Land Improvement Contractors Association (LICA), Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Montag Manufacturing, The Nature Conservancy and Truterra.

To learn more about the campaign and conservation practices that can be implemented, go to CleanWaterIowa.org/CleanWaterStartsHere.

About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 14 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land and enhance water quality for the next generation. Learn more at iowaagriculture.gov.

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