E_W_NishLogoOakland, IA – The East and West Nishnabotna Watershed Coalition is hosting its final round of stakeholder meetings to gain additional input for creating watershed management and flood resiliency plans for the East and West Nishnabotna River Watersheds.

The East Nishnabotna stakeholders will meet on July 30, 2018 from 7-9 p.m. at ‘The Venue’ in Atlantic, IA (307 Walnut Street). The West Nishnabotna stakeholders will meet July 31, 2018 from 7-9 p.m. at the Classic Café in Malvern, IA (317 Main Street). The purpose of these meetings is to provide stakeholders an opportunity to help the planning team refine goals and objectives for the watershed management and flood resiliency plans, identify additional case study areas, and prioritize best management practices to address flooding and water quality. The stakeholder groups consist of local landowners, business owners, science professionals, citizens, and nonprofits. Members of the public are welcome to attend these meetings.

The watershed management and flood resiliency plans aim to identify solutions to reduce the impacts of flooding and improve water quality within the two watersheds. The two watersheds cover a 12-county area, which includes the following counties: Adair, Audubon, Carroll, Cass, Crawford, Fremont, Guthrie, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, and Shelby. The plans, which are scheduled to be completed in March 2019, are voluntary in nature and guided by stakeholder input. Each plan will assist with future decision making and will lay out a roadmap to guide proactive implementation of flood mitigation and water quality improvement projects for the next five to 15 years.

Stakeholders are playing a vital role in shaping the future of these watersheds for years to come. The first round of stakeholder meetings occurred in April 2018 in Atlantic and Glenwood. The July 2018 meetings are the second and final stakeholder meetings before the planning team develop the plans. The draft plans will be shared with the public for review and input later this year at open house public meetings.

The planning efforts are taking place as part of the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA). The IWA is a statewide, five-year project, funded by a $96.6 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant. Leading the effort is the University of Iowa-based Iowa Flood Center and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Additional information can also be found on the project website at http://www.iowawatershedapproach.org/. Locally, the project is being coordinated by the nonprofit Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D). The East and West Nishnabotna Watershed Coalition has retained JEO Consulting Group (JEO) to assist with developing these plans and facilitating public engagement.

For more information, contact Cara Marker-Morgan, Project Coordinator, at the Golden Hills RC&D at 712.482.3029 or by email at cmorgan@goldenhillsrcd.org. A copy of the stakeholder meeting agenda can be found at http://www.goldenhillsrcd.org/wma.html.