The BEST in river restoration coming to Dubuque Feb 8-11


Catfish Creek Watershed - Dubuque
Catfish Creek Watershed – Dubuque

The Partnership for River Restoration in the Upper Midwest is hosting its regional symposium in Dubuque, Iowa, February 8-11 at the Hotel Julien.

This is an extraordinary opportunity to learn about the latest cutting-edge, affordable, science-based, and sustainable approaches to restore and protect Iowa’s rivers and streams, and the surrounding landscape. This symposium will include demonstrations from national and state experts about the value, importance and benefits of natural stream restoration to your community.

Iowa Rivers Revival has a limited number of scholarships available to help off-set registrations costs for those who may not have the resources available to attend.  More information below. 

Don’t miss this perfect opportunity to learn how other states in the region are approaching river and stream restoration and the multiple benefits resulting from these practices.

⇒ Exchange knowledge and lessons learned about important local and regional topics.
⇒ Create collaborations that will lead to further targeted research and group funding.
⇒ Lay the groundwork for a more formal professional restoration group representing the Upper Midwest.

Natural, ecological river restoration expertise and practices are needed in Iowa.  Natural stream restoration improves water quality, reduces streambank erosion, protects infrastructure, moderates flooding, improves habitat, increases recreation, and enhances economic development opportunities.

Who should attend?
⇒ Engineers
⇒ Restoration practitioners (technical and field professionals, municipalities, landowners)
⇒ Students
⇒ River and environmental advocates

Quick Links:
Keynote/Invited Speakers
Conference Agenda – at a glance
Short Courses (pre-symposium; Feb 8)

SCHOLARSHIPS:  If you are interested in applying for scholarship assistance, please respond with the following information to Rosalyn Lehman at by Friday, December 19, 2014.

⇒ Contact information (name, business/organization, job title, phone and e-mail).
⇒ A brief description of your professional background related to river restoration and how you will plan to utilize this information gained at the symposium.
⇒ Describe your need for financial assistance.
⇒ Your commitment to follow-up with IRR about what you learned from the conference, and how you may use this information in your professional work.
Please note:  we will only be offering registration assistance; lodging and travel will be the responsibility of the applicant.

Don’t miss this premier educational opportunity to help bring Iowa up-to-date on the latest and greatest restoration practices in the Midwest!

Help us celebrate Iowa’s rivers!

Canoe the Upper Iowa River near decorah by Sarah NelsonIowa Rivers Revival is accepting applications for the annual River Town of the Year award. Each year IRR 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.

Is there a city or town you think deserves to be recognized and honored? Tell us about a community who is embracing their local river.

Applications are due by December 13, 2014.   Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to protecting and maintaining river water quality and promoting the river as an asset to the town. The award will be presented in early 2015 at a reception hosted by Iowa Rivers Revival in the River Town of the Year community.

For a detailed application, more information about the award please go to:

Examples of award criteria include, but are not limited to these activities:

♦  River tourism efforts;
♦  Historic and cultural preservation;
♦  Providing river access (programs, trails, portages, guide info);
♦  Annual or seasonal river clean-up or event;
♦  Partnerships to protect and enhance local river or stream;
♦  Dam mitigation and/or safety awareness;
♦  Promoting commerce that accommodates river enthusiasts (commercial establishments – – e.g., bed & breakfasts, bait/fish shops, restaurants, canoe boat/rentals).

Previous “River Town” award recipients are Webster City, Elkader, Coon Rapids, Cedar Falls, Charles City, Central City, Dubuque and Decorah.  The web site has previous winning cities’ applications for the award, IRR news releases, and news coverage.


National and state experts to demonstrate the multiple benefits of natural stream restoration.

Iowa Rivers Revival is co-sponsoring a mini-workshop focused on the benefits of natural stream restoration practices.  The three hour workshop is for policy-makers and community leaders in or near the Walnut Creek Watershed in the Des Moines metro area.  IRR is collaborating with the City of Clive, the Iowa Stormwater Education Program, and the International Erosion Control Association.

The mini-workshop will be held on Monday, October 13, 2014, 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Clive Special Events Building, 1801 NW 114th St.  There is no fee to attend this workshop.  Please RSVP to Jenn Dreier at or 515.724.4093.

Natural Stream Restoration Mini-Workshop Program Agenda

Natural stream restoration improves water quality, protects infrastructure, reduces streambank erosion, reduces flooding, improves habitat, and enhances economic development.

The City of Clive is in its second year applying natural restoration methods along Walnut Creek and Little Walnut Creek for stormwater management and habitat restoration.  City leaders will share how they evolved from a “hard-armoring” approach (broken concrete) to a more natural approach that protects local infrastructure, enhances the greenbelt area, and wins public support.

Dave Derrick, a national expert, has over 30 years of restoration experience working with the Army Corp of Engineers, and he inspires an ecological ethic and sustainable approach to stream restoration.  Dave will show a range of projects that resulted in riparian corridor restoration, improved habitat, better public access, improved water quality, and reduced flooding.

State experts, including Iowa DNR Rivers Program coordinator Nate Hoogeveen, will present compelling, science-based information on urban and rural river and stream restoration opportunities in Iowa.  Pat Sauer, with the Iowa Storm Water Education Program, will discuss why our streams are unhealthy.  A brief field visit to nearby stream restoration project sites in Clive will follow the presentations.

The City of Clive and co-sponsors also are hosting a full four-day field and classroom training for engineers, field technicians, and development professionals on the latest bioengineering techniques used for streambank stabilization and stream habitat restoration.

Urban Streambank Stabilization and Stream Habitat Restoration
Monday, October 13 thru Thursday, October 16, 2014
Clive City Hall and Special Events Center

For more information about the full four-day training:

Training Agenda
Training Registration

**If you have interest in attending the four-day training, but may require some financial assistance, please contact Rosalyn Lehman at to discuss available options.

NW 86thStreet (looking upstream just west of pedestrian bridge)





IRR seeks fundraiser to join rivers team






We are looking for a PT Fundraising Manager to join our team. The ideal candidate has a passion for protecting Iowa’s rivers; someone with prior fundraising experience in a non-profit setting is preferred. A conservation or environmental background is helpful, but not required. The ideal candidate will be a good communicator, an advocate for organization programs, and able to build and maintain good relationships with donors, stakeholders and granting institutions.

This position is part-time (40 hours/month) temporary for six months, with the potential to grow and become permanent.

For a detailed job description, click here.

To apply, please send resume and references by July 31, 2014 to: or Iowa Rivers Revival, PO Box 72, Des Moines, Iowa 50301. No phone calls, please.

Governor Approves $2 Million for Iowa Rivers!

WTLogoGreat news! Last Friday we received confirmation that Governor Branstad approved the $2 million Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure (RIIF) Appropriation for the Low Head Dam Mitigation and Water Trails Program. This is a $1 million increase from last year’s budgeted appropriation.

This is a HUGE victory for IRR and for Iowa’s rivers!  Thank you for making contacts with your legislators about the importance and need for this funding — we urge you to thank the Governor for his support of river funding.

The appropriation will continue work on the statewide network of water trails that dramatically improve public interest in and access to rivers with new signs, safe portages, ramps and other features. The funds also will protect public safety as more and more people enjoy our rivers, by assisting cities with repair, modification or removal of low-head dams that are so deceptively dangerous. The funds also will be used to partner with landowners on streambank restoration.

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