Watershed Project Coordinators are a Local Resource for Soil and Water Quality Improvement

February 18, 2021 8:17 AM

Farmers and landowners across the state work regularly with their local Natural Resource Conservation Service and Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) professionals to plan and construct conservation practices or discuss cost-share options to try new management practices. Watershed coordinators are also located within many SWCD offices and valuable resources for farmers within specific watersheds to help address conservation and water quality concerns.

Colton Meyer has served in the watershed coordinator role for the West Branch of the Floyd River Water Quality Initiative (WQI) Project since 2016 and in early 2020, he was hired by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) to expand his efforts and coordinate water quality improvement in the entire Floyd River Watershed. The watershed includes portions of Sioux, O’Brien, Plymouth, and small portions of Osceola and Woodbury counties. Meyer consults with farmers and landowners in the watershed to increase practices including bioreactors, saturated buffers, terraces, filter strips, grassed waterways, cover crops, no-till, and low disturbance manure application.  Cost-share funding is available as an incentive to try new management practices and to cover 50-100% of the cost for constructing edge-of-field practices such as bioreactors and saturated buffers.

Watershed projects, including the Floyd River WQI project, collaborate with partners, including local co-ops and other agribusinesses, agriculture and conservation organizations, and ISU Extension to host field days, workshops, youth education events, and outreach to the communities in the watershed to share project information and cost-share opportunities with farmers and landowners.

The Deep Creek-Willow Creek WQI project and the North Raccoon WQI project are two additional active watershed projects working to improve water quality in Northwest Iowa. To learn more about these projects or to connect with project coordinators, visit their project websites or contact them directly.