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Monday, April 30, 2018

Dustin Vande Hoef       
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)

 
 

NAIG ENCOURAGES IOWANS TO HELP CELEBRATE SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION WEEK APRIL 29 TO MAY 6

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today highlighted Soil and Water Conservation Week, which runs from April 29 to May 6, and encouraged Iowans to consider things they can do to help protect our state’s soil and improve water quality.  Naig will be participating in events across Iowa to highlight the important conservation practices placed on Iowa’s landscape and bring attention to the ongoing work by farmers, landowners and urban residents to protect the state’s soil and water resources.

“Soil and Water Conservation Week is an opportunity to celebrate the progress that has been made and renew our commitment to working together to do even more to protect our state’s soil and water,” Naig said. “Iowans both on the farm and in our towns take being good stewards of the land very seriously. This week is a chance to celebrate all the conservation work being done across the state.”

On Monday, April 30 Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Naig will participate in a ribbon cutting for a storm water wetland in Ankeny.  The wetland, located on the north side of 36th Street in Ankeny, was built to manage and clean urban storm water prior to entry into Fourmile Creek. Reynolds will also sign a proclamation recognizing April 29 – May 6 as Iowa Soil and Water Conservation Week during the event. The ribbon cutting and proclamation signing will take place at 2 p.m. near the Outdoor Education Center, 610 NE 36th Street, in Ankeny.

On Tuesday, May 1, Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Julie Kenney will participate in a celebration of the Farm to River Partnership in Lake City. The Farm to River Partnership recently received continued funding to support greater adoption of conservation practices that reduce nitrates entering waterbodies. Specific goals of the Farm to River Partnership include installation of 15 bioreactors, 15 saturated buffers, two wetlands and 11,500 new acres of cover crops. The event will be held at the farm of Mark and Melissa Schleisman, 25455 110th Street, Lake City with a lunch to follow at Swan Lake Convention Education Center, 22676 Swan Lake Drive, Carroll.

On Wednesday, May 2, Naig will tour efforts led by Hungry Canyons Alliance to address the issues of stream channel erosion and degradation to help protect area infrastructure.  The Alliance works in a 23 county area of the deep loess soils region of western Iowa. At 3:00 p.m., Naig will view a project that is protecting area infrastructure at 22000 510th Street, Walnut.  At 3:40 p.m. he will view a stream bank stabilization project on the West Nishnabotna River at Old Town Park, 12515 385th St, Macedonia

Iowa Soil and Water Conservation Week is in coordination with the National Stewardship Week, sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts.  This year’s Stewardship Week theme is “Watersheds: Our Water, Our Home.” More information about the activities that will be held during Soil and Water Conservation Week in Iowa can be found at  www.iowaagriculture.gov/conservationweek.asp

Background
During the “Dust Bowl” years of the 1930s, the first efforts to prevent soil erosion were developed.  In 1939, Iowa passed a law establishing a state agency and the means for soil and water conservation districts to organize.  Over 70 years later, there are 100 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the state supporting the conservation work being done across the state. 

The Department’s Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality provides leadership in the protection and management of soil, water and mineral resources.  The Division also works with Soil and Water Conservation Districts and private farmers and landowners to meet their agricultural and environmental protection needs, in both rural and urban landscapes. The Department’s conservation partners include USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Iowa State University, Conservation Districts of Iowa (CDI) and many others.

The Iowa Water Quality Initiative was established in 2013 to help implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, which is a science and technology based approach to achieving a 45 percent reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus losses to our waters.  The strategy brings together both point sources, such as municipal wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities, and nonpoint sources, including farm fields and urban stormwater runoff, to address these issues.

The initiative seeks to harness the collective ability of both private and public resources and organizations to deliver a clear and consistent message to stakeholders to reduce nutrient loss and improve water quality.

More than $420 million in funding has been documented for efforts in support of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy last year. This represents a $32 million increase of funding in support of Iowa water quality programs and conservation efforts over the previous year.

More information about the initiative can be found at www.CleanWaterIowa.org.

 

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Mailing Address: IDALS,  Wallace State Office Building,   502 E. 9th Street,  Des Moines, IA 50319:     PH: 515-281-5321
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