Iowa DNR seeks volunteers for Wapsipinicon River cleanup


Nick Fetty | June 18, 2015

The Iowa DNR is seeking volunteers for a cleanup project on the Wapsipinicon River next month.

The 13th annual Project AWARE (A Watershed Awareness River Expedition) will begin in Independence on July 11 and finish near Olin on July 16. Participants will travel 65 miles (16 miles per day) through three eastern Iowa counties picking up trash and other debris along the way. DNR officials and other experts will also offer daily classes and demonstrations on various topics from nature to the humanities.

The University of Iowa’s IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering and Iowa Flood Center as well as University of Northern Iowa Outdoor Recreation are among this year’s group of sponsors. IIHR will cover meal costs for student volunteers. Contact Teresa Gaffey for more details: teresa-gaffey[at]

Registration, meal prices, route maps, and other information for the general public can be found on the Iowa DNR website. Participants may sign up for one or multiple days and must register before June 19 to avoid a $10 late fee. Canoes will be available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis.

Last year volunteers netted 31 tons of garbage from the Sioux River, much of which was recycled.


Wapsipinicon River Behavior Baffles Forecasters

Photo by J. Stephen Conn; Flickr


While Independence avoided the predicted flood damage, areas around Anamosa through the De Witt area are still experiencing dangerous water levels.

Resources are being shifted from Independence to the areas that are seeing some of the worst record levels in history. Many homes near Anamosa have already been evacuated and are covered in water.

Thursday morning’s flood warning from the forecasters was ambiguous:

“There remains a great deal of uncertainty about why the river has not responded as previously expected considering the 4 to 7 inches of rain that fell on saturated ground Monday night.”

To read more about the Wapsi flood concerns, click here.