Water trails funding needs your help!

Action Alert!

The Water Trails and Low-head Dam Mitigation (DNR River Program) is under threat of being zeroed out…again.

  • Dam Mitigation serves communities and state interests for safer, ecologically sound approaches.
  • Water Trials serves recreational river and lake users.
  • Team has grown abilities in stable channel design/river restoration.

We need your help to fund important projects in Iowa!



Iowa has 177 low-head dams in 57 of the state’s 99 counties. “Low-head” dams span the river and are less than 20 feet high (many just 2-5 feet high).  The dams often are deceptively dangerous “drowning machines.”  Since 1900, at least 163 people have been killed in the deadly recirculating currents that form below these dams — 31 since 1998.


Most of these dams were constructed in the 1930’s and are in need of repair.  Modification projects provide the opportunity to engage the community and reconnect citizens to the resource in a meaningful way.  Whitewater courses, fish passage and improved angling opportunities, expanded water trails and access points, handicap accessibility and native plantings for improved habitat provide multiple benefits but most importantly-these projects provide economic development to revitalize Iowa towns and cities.

“The whitewater project was promoted by the Manchester Good to Great organization as a means to continue to be aggressive in the improvement of our community with a mindset that a recreational/tourism-focused project would help draw people to our community.  Not only is this project an attraction for visitors, but an additional quality of life factor which we know will make Manchester a place people wish to consider when looking to expand their business or relocate their families.  We feel this project will have a long-term positive impact on our community, and the fishing is great!”

~Ryan Wicks, Manchester Good to Great River and Recreation Committee Chair

This work provides value to communities all across our state and there is so much more work to be done!  This money helps communities supplement the costs of these unique projects-bringing people together to solve complicated problems with win-win solutions.
Contact your legislator TODAY and ask them to fund the Water Trails and Low-head Dam Mitigation program
within the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF)
Skip to content