Toolbox Trained Professionals are only a click away!

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You may have heard of Iowa’s River Restoration Toolbox…

Defining the Iowa River Restoration Toolbox
The Toolbox was developed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to assist Iowa designers and reviewers of stream stabilization and restoration projects by providing proven techniques that incorporate natural materials, such as logs, rocks, and live plantings. Among the many techniques included in the Toolbox are: longitudinal peaked stone toe protection, j-hook vanes, rock arch rapids, oxbows, riparian corridor restorations, and tree/shrub plantings. Included are an assessment method and reviewable design checklists to aid in decision making among multidisciplinary teams (i.e. – funding partners, designers, project managers, and contractors etc.). The Toolbox also provides detailed design guidance, drawings and specifications to assist with project bidding.

Toolbox Development
The goal of this resource is to assist design teams with the evaluation of streams and the selection of apply suitable practices that will result in successful projects. Just as important, the Toolbox will prevent the installation of practices that are unsuccessful and destructive to the stability of river ecosystem. A national expert in the design and installation of these practices was hired to research and merge common engineering and restoration practices into useful assessment and design guidance. It was then reviewed and adapted by a statewide team of Iowa engineering, river restoration, project management, and aquatic habitat professionals from various cities, state agencies, federal, and non-governmental organizations with a stake in its development. Efficiencies are anticipated with the use of the Toolbox from inception to permitting, because reviewers can work from generally accepted design assumptions and calculations to support the selected practices.


Why Use the Toolbox?
This resource focuses on natural techniques in streambank stabilization and stream restoration that provide multiple benefits while remaining the most cost-effective options. The Toolbox will help you understand the driving factors that cause an unstable stream segment to erode or damage infrastructure prior to jumping to solutions leads to long-term stable, economically beneficial solutions. It takes the user through the major steps of stream assessment, including field-collected stream survey data, key stream stability issues, and multiple practices and techniques that are appropriate for the type of restoration project. The Iowa DNR State Revolving Fund (SRF) Sponsored Project Program will be requiring its applicants to use the Toolbox to be eligible for the Clean Water Loan Program. Through this program, wastewater utilities can finance and pay for projects, within or outside the corporate limits, that cover best management practices for non-point source pollution control.

And now????

You can find Toolbox Trainer professionals NEAR YOU right here. 

Use this new tool to find locations and contact information for people who have taken the Level 1 River Restoration Training!!!!


REGISTER for the Upper Midwest Stream Restoration Symposium TODAY!

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Why Attend?

The Upper Midwest Stream Restoration Symposium (UMSRS) presents a unique opportunity to bring together regional stream restoration practitioners so they may share experiences and expertise with colleagues working within similar environmental and land-use conditions.  Attendees from multi-disciplinary backgrounds will hear about innovative restoration designs and approaches as well as have the opportunity to network with the region’s leading stream restoration practitioners.





The Symposium we will be held in La Crosse, Wisconsin at the Radisson Hotel. The venue will allow easy access from across the Midwest via air or car. Organizers have worked hard to keep registration costs as low as possible.


UMSRS at a Glance

UMSRS will take place over 2.5 days. The Symposium will open on Sunday night with dinner and a keynote talk. The Symposium is single-track (no concurrent sessions) so that all attendees hear all presentation and discussions. Keynote speakers will open each day followed by oral and poster presentations.


Topics of discussion at previous UMSRS include:

  • Stream Restoration Design and Monitoring
  • Regulation and Stream Restoration:  Where am I and what am I doing here?
  • Water Quality Management in Midwest Streams
  • Assessment and Monitoring of Stream Restoration Success
  • Managing Invasive Species in Midwest River
  • Aesthetics in Stream Restoration
  • Rural Stream Restoration
  • Ecology and Stream Restoration
  • Stream Restoration and Agricultural Drainage
  • Lessons Learned:  Stream Restoration Failures (be a brave soul!)
  • Stream Restoration Education: Using Projects as Teaching Tools for the Public

For more information, visit:

The 2019 Iowa Legislative Session is HERE!

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Welcome to the first day of session!

Exciting things are happening for rivers all across Iowa and we hope to see that reflected up at the State Capitol this year.  We are working with our amazing lobby team at Advocacy Strategies again this year and will be keeping you up to date on all things watershed-related throughout the session.

Look for regular updates, action alerts on key bills, and lists of public forums to attend from now through (likely) May.

Here is the link to Iowa Rivers Revival’s 2019 Legislative Priorities.

Feel free to reference this when speaking to your local elected officials and reach out if you would like more details about any of the specific priorities.  Bring it with you when you attend lobby days or visit the Capitol with other groups.

Mark your calendar: IRR’s Lobby Day and Popcorn Party will be taking place on Wednesday, April 17th from 1-3 PM in the Capitol Rotunda.  Please join us for fun, food and a chance to talk with local elected officials about the river issues that matter most to you, your family and your community.

Stay up to date with us via our website and our Facebook page

Iowa Rivers Revival Website

Thanks for the river love!

There is still time to nominate your town to be our next River Town of the Year!

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Iowa Rivers Revival is accepting nominations for the 2019 “River Town of the Year” Award.  We have extended our deadline to January 15th, to give applicants a little more time!

Communities across the state are embracing, protecting and celebrating their local rivers, and each year IRR showcases one Iowa town’s outstanding efforts to reclaim river-fronts as anchors for economic development, recreation, and good ecological practices.

IRR is still looking for the next city or town to honor in 2019. Cities or citizens may nominate their town.

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

•  Innovative storm water controls and river protection measures.
•  Efforts to improve water quality.
•  Efforts to protect and enhance greenbelts and/or ecosystems.
•  Protection of threatened riparian habitat and species.
•  Participating with Iowa Water Trails program.
•  River tourism efforts.
•  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.

The award will be presented in spring of 2019 at reception hosted by Iowa Rivers Revival in the “River Town of the Year” community.  IRR also will work to provide additional opportunities to promote and recognize the “River Town of the Year” through media and river-related events.

You can download the application here.

For information on previous winning cities’ applications, IRR news releases, and news coverage check out our River Town of the Year page!

Questions?  Please email us at, or call 515-724-4093.


Giving Tuesday

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Today is #GivingTuesday! As you think about your end of year giving, please consider a tax-deductible donation to Iowa Rivers Revival.

We are fighting hard EVERY DAY for:

  • sustainable funding for clean water through a science-based, watershed approach
  • training professionals in natural stream restoration techniques
  • working to secure funding to enhance dam mitigation and water trail projects
  • continuing to creatively and collaboratively de-politicize the conversation around water quality in the state of Iowa

But we can’t do it alone. WE NEED YOUR HELP! Donate toady and join the fight as we help Iowans protect, restore and enjoy our rivers.

Thanks for the river love

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