Successful Event Honoring our River Champions!

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Photo courtesy of Leland Searles
Photo courtesy of Leland Searles

We hope all who were able to attend enjoyed the River Champion Open House and the view from the 22nd floor of the Plaza. Our wonderful hosts and long-time river champions David Hurd and Trudy Holman-Hurd join us in extending warm appreciation to everyone who joined us to help make the afternoon memorable.

Check out our photo gallery to find a web album from the open house. Thanks to Leland Searles, graduate of our Master River Stewards Program, who graciously donated this image and most of those featured in the album.

Thank you to all the River Champions who generously support IRR with $250 or more each year. You are truly the backbone of our work. Your help makes it possible for IRR to mobilize Iowans across the state to defend, protect, preserve and celebrate our rivers and streams.

We couldn’t do it without you!

Event: The River from the 22nd Floor — July 21st

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Iowa Rivers Revival is organizing a very special event to honor and thank our 2013 River Champions.  We hope you will join us by becoming a River Champion!

We are celebrating our 2013 River Champions — those who give $250 or more to IRR in 2013 — on Sunday, July 21st from 2 to 4 pm with an open house at the home of long-time supporters David and Trudy Holman Hurd.

The Hurds’ live on the 22nd floor of the Plaza Condominiums in downtown Des Moines, with panoramic windows in their apartment framing expansive views of the city and the Des Moines River.

Our 2013 River Champions will experience incredible views of the city and the Des Moines River while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres and the Hurds’ outstanding art collection (which features a Chinese terra cotta warrior and works by Alexander Calder, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Stillman, and Claude Bentley, among many others). The event will also feature a presentation by river historian John Wenck.

Please become a 2013 River Champion and join us on Sunday, July 21st!

Being a River Champion is a commitment to very important work.  It means that you strongly support IRR efforts to mobilize Iowans across the state to defend, protect, preserve and celebrate our rivers and streams.

You can donate online or by mail to Iowa Rivers Revival, c/o River Champions Open House, PO Box 72, Des Moines, Iowa 50301.  For questions or more information, contact Rosalyn Lehman at rlehman@iowarivers.orgor 515.724.4093.

We deeply value your support. With your contribution as a 2013 River Champion, we can and WILL do even more to protect Iowa’s rivers.  Thank you!

Master River Stewards…Coming to the Cedar River Watershed

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Kent Cedar River Rocks! 033

Iowa Rivers Revival is facilitating a second Master River Stewards Program in 2013.  The program will take place in the CedarRiver Watershed – dates and locations TDB

The eight week course will focus on riverine systems, including skills to paddle and navigate rivers, restore aquatic habitat, improve water quality, and understand policies related to floodplains, river protection and restoration.

The Master River Steward program will build on a network of river experts in various partner agencies and organizations.  It will help adult learners collaborate to protect and improve Iowa’s rivers, so that current and future generations can enjoy these resources.  Visit IRR’s website to view an outline of this year’s Spring program:  http://iowarivers.org.previewdns.com/education/river-stewards/

Feedback from 2012 pilot participants:

→ “Great class, thoroughly enjoyed each and every session.”
“Great leadership.  Great resources/readings.  Great speakers.  Great group.”
Really enjoyed class.  Had zero expectations coming in.  Was surprised by the amount of river experience/Project AWARE tie in.  Really enjoyed meeting such passionate people.  Each week gave me something to think about and discuss with co-workers.”
“This was a fantastic program.  I came in with no expectations, but left every night excited to share what I learned with others… Thanks so much for putting this together.  I will become active in the stewardship of rivers at a far greater level due to this program.”

Registration Cost:  Participants will pay a fee of $50 which will include program materials.  Participants will be expected to attend each session and there will be “homework” assignments following each class – materials will be provided.

Sponsorships:  There are opportunities for organizations and groups to sponsor aspects of the program, such as general program support, participant registration costs (reducing the costs for individuals you recommend or others interested in participating), a meal for one of the evening programs or program materials and supplies.    Sponsorship details.

Funding for the Cedar River Watershed program has been provided by REAP, Iowa DNR IOWATER, Iowa DNR River Programs, and Northeast Iowa Community Foundation.

Program Schedule: TBD

They heard us! Iowa grants conditional approval to MO River habitat project

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MO River Restoration Program_Little Sioux Bend Chute
Thanks to all who spoke up to support of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Missouri River restoration and mitigation efforts to restore and protect native species and wildlife habitat along the Missouri River.

Proponents achieved a victory in early September when the Iowa DNR announced conditional certification to the USACE regarding the proposed shallow water habitat project at the Little Sioux Bend segment of the Missouri River.

A statement by Iowa DNR Director Chuck Gipp said, “We strongly believe that we have found a way for these projects to be comleted in the right way – a way that reinforces the State of Iowa’s focus on flood control and nutrient reduction.”

Read the Iowa DNR news release, September 10, 2013.

Read the Iowa DNR letter to the USACE providing conditional certification, September 10, 2013.

To thank the Governor or Iowa agencies for supporting vital efforts to protect and restore Iowa’s environment, contact:

→Governor Terry Branstad: http://www.governor.iowa.gov/contact/
→IA DNR, Kevin Baskins:  kevin.baskins@dnr.iowa.gov
→IDALS Director, Bill Northey:  http://www.billnorthey.com/contact.php

Background

Iowa Rivers Revival supports the efforts of the USACE to continue restoration and mitigation projects that will re-establish wildlife habitat to protect endangered and native species in the Missouri River Valley.

→These chute restoration projects would re-introduce at least a semblance of channel diversity in a small area of the river.
→Straightening the Missouri River helped farming in the river valley, but was a disaster for fish and wildlife habitat.
→Restoration of some channel diversity is badly needed for native fish species and is being done without adverse impacts on farming.

USACE shallow water restoration projects improve water quality and the function and value of the Missouri River.

→Nutrient (Nitrogen and Phosphorus) concentrations do not increase downstream of chutes after construction, and have little to no impact on nutrients contributing to hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.
→The benefits of these ecosystem restoration projects greatly outweigh the insignificant levels (0.01% or less of the Missouri and Mississippi River nutrient loads), in fact these restoration projects could help reduce these loads and improve current water quality conditions.
→The USACE has also conducted studies determining that sediment dispersal does not impact flood stages.

Iowa’s land and waters have multiple values – including economic and recreational incentives for Iowans and tourists to enjoy and engage in our outdoors.

→The restoration efforts not only provides critical habitat  for endangered and native species, it also provides healthy, quality of life opportunities that will attract and retain young Iowans, helping to boost our local economies

Other helpful links:

IRR’s Letter to Governor Branstad
Missouri River Restoration at Issue (by:  Susan Flader, Missouri Parks Association)
Missouri River Recovery Program
Back to the River, Inc., Testimony in support of USACE restoration projects

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