Iowa Environmental Focus, a product of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER), is a non-profit source for Iowa-specific news, analysis and commentary on the environment. It covers a range of topics including air and water quality, climate change, extreme weather, sustainable communities and green energy.

As part of this project, CGRER is partnering with Iowa radio stations to air a weekly radio segment, also called Iowa Environmental Focus.

CGRER, a state-funded  institute headquartered at the University of Iowa, is devoted to bettering our environment by promoting interdisciplinary research on the many aspects of global environmental change. It awards seed grants, fosters interdisciplinary courses, provides state-of-the-art research facilities, and holds seminars and symposia.

For more information, visit CGRER on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and YouTube.

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  1. Hi IEF – we need help in getting the word out! If you are familiar with those who purchase a new home, you know their woes of the rocky, clay ridden sub-soil that looks and acts more like concrete than a lush green landscape. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources adopted a rule in October 2012 that requires builders to return four inches of topsoil to a lot before sodding or seeding takes place. This was done to provide the property owner with a fighting chance for a healthy landscape and protect water quality, as stormwater runoff is reduced and water pollution is prevented. This new rule reflects what the Environmental Protection Agency expects of Iowa. Two developers, Hubbell Realty and Jerry’s Homes, recently decided this rule is not fair and builders should be allowed to put topsoil back, where they want or not. They went to the Governor’s office, the Governor called the DNR, the DNR formed a stakeholders group and this group, heavy on construction representation, will be “discussing” this rule for the next six weeks. It may not be much, but four inches is the difference between enjoying a new yard OR toiling forever trying to keep vegetation alive. Most builders do the right thing, however a few want to go back to leaving behind a yard that will cause nothing but trouble for new homeowners. The DNR needs feedback – letting them know the four inches of topsoil is just right for all involved. If you could ask your readership to e-mail the Iowa DNR (adam.schnieders@dnr.iowa.gov) and tell them to keep the rule as is it would be greatly appreciated. A radio segment on the topic would be great as well. Thank you.

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