Cedar Lake levee grant approved to mitigate flooding

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Eleanor Hildebrandt | August 13, 2021

A state panel approved a more than $500,000 grant for a Cedar Lake levee project that will protect downtown Cedar Rapids from floods on Thursday.

A $20 million project by ConnectCR is looking to revitalize the Cedar Lake area in the next few years. The plan looks to “develop” the area and focus on enhancing current park amenities while creating new ones. The project also is committed to protecting the North Shore wetlands and educate visitors on the diverse plants and wildlife by the lake. The more than half-a-million-dollar grant to build a levee will help create opportunities for reducing pollutants from running into the lake.

Alongside the grant and private investment into the area, the Iowa Natural Resource Commission approved a lake-restoration grant. Flood-control measures for the area are expected to cost upwards of $16 million. The funding will help maintain the lake’s wildlife and improve the waterway’s pollution levels. The measures are also preventative and will work to decrease the impact of flooding on Cedar Rapids and the city’s residents.

The commission also purchase 220 acres of forest and grassland on Thursday. The land is currently owned by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. The land is worth $1.6 million and will be used to expand the Saylorville Wildlife Management Area, according to Iowa Capital Dispatch.