Clinton County is making the best of a bad situation. 100 acres of former farmland that was flooded in 2008 and 2010, is being converted into wetlands and prairie. The land in near Wheatland, along the lower Wapsipinicon River. A federal grant and area groups pledged nearly $100,000 to purchase the land.
The Quad-City Times reports that this action has many environmental advantages:
Purchase is an alternative to recurring disaster payments and agriculture infrastructure repair due to flooding.
The wetlands provide habitat for birds, including migratory waterfowl and nesting neo-tropicals, as well as other wildlife. They also provide opportunities for people to hunt, hike, bird-watch and conduct environmental education. And they retain water, decreasing flooding downstream and filtering contaminants, thereby decreasing pollution and the “dead zone” where aquatic life cannot thrive in the Gulf of Mexico.