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.


Nominate your Town for River Town of the Year!

Photo by ellenmac11; Flickr

Iowa Rivers Revival — an organization committed to protecting Iowa’s rivers and streams and watersheds — invites you to nominate your city for IRR’s River Town of the Year award.

The annual River Town of the Year award recognizes an Iowa town or city for outstanding efforts to reclaim river-fronts as anchors for economic development, recreation, and good ecological practices. Cities are invited to apply for the award, or citizens may nominate their town.

Applications are due by November 1, 2013. The award will be presented in January 2014 at a reception hosted by Iowa Rivers Revival in the River Town of the Year community. Continue reading

Bridge construction will continue without mussel survey

Photo by Niall Crotty; Flickr
Photo by Niall Crotty; Flickr

When officials in Quasqueton proposed a new bridge over the Wapsipinicon River, they were required to survey and relocate the local mussel population before construction could begin. However, due to consistently high water levels, the survey has yet to be conducted, and has now been delayed until until after the bridge is built. Continue reading

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.

Flooded farmland converted to wetlands in Clinton County

Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Midwest Region, Flickr

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. Continue reading