A partner-driven, locally led approach to conservation

The SE Iowa Watershed Partnership is proud to announce the opportunity to be leveraging $6.4 million in SE Iowa to focus on water and soil quality and soil health improvements through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) award. This RCPP partnership covers a 15-county region, and the included Watershed Management Authority (WMA) and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) Water Quality Initiative (WQI) associated Watershed Projects of:

  • Cedar Creek Partnership WQI Project
  • Lower Skunk River Water Quality and Soil Health WQI Project
  • Mahaska County South Skunk and Cedar Creek Headwaters Watershed WQI Project
  • Soap Creek WMA
  • South Central IA Cedar Creek WMA
  • West Fork Crooked and Long Creek Water Quality and Soil Health WQI Project

RCPP is an USDA program that promotes the coordination of the Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) activities with local partners, agricultural producers, and private landowners to address a variety of critical resource concerns across the nation. If you are a partner, producer or landowner interested in RCPP projects, please contact your local USDA Service Center Locator or your local SE Iowa Watershed Project Coordinator. The SE Iowa Watershed Partnership would like to thank all contributing and participating partners for supporting this year’s RCPP proposal. Your continued commitment to and support of conservation efforts in SE Iowa is much appreciated. County Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD’s), County Board of Supervisors, County Emergency Management Agencies and associated Watershed Projects, as well as Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), USGS Central Midwest Water Science Center, the Iowa Flood Center (IFC/IIHR), ISU Extension Education and Outreach, Pathfinders RC&D, and local supporting organizations have come together to make this public-private partnership a possibility.

The county overlap allows the established Watershed Projects to expand their outreach and scale-up implementation into new areas by increasing the level of technical and financial assistance available. Coupled with a strong farmer-focused education and outreach program, we will partner together to inform and implement strategic practices that have the highest potential to reduce nutrient loads/runoff and enhance soil health. The SE Iowa Partnership will also continue to build on conservation programs to improve soil and water quality by emphasizing conservation practices in priority areas.

RCPP partners offer value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding. NRCS is investing $330 million nationwide in 85 locally driven, public-private partnerships. These projects offer impactful and measurable outcomes. Throughout its history, RCPP has leveraged partner contributions of more than $1 for every $1 invested by USDA, resulting in nearly $3 billion collectively invested in natural resource conservation on private lands. Since 2014, nearly 400 partner projects have been selected for funding throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. There are currently 336 active RCPP projects that have engaged more than 2,000 partners. For more information, please visit the RCPP website.

Local Contacts per Watershed Location

Janelle K Randau, Project Coordinator, South Central IA Cedar Creek WMA – Monroe Co SWCD  Albia, IA:   641-932-5144 Ext 3           janelle.randau@ia.nacdnet.net         SCIACC Facebook

Miranda Haes, Lower Skunk River Water Quality &Soil Initiative Coordinator, Lower Skunk River Water Quality & Soil Health Initiative – Henry Co SWCD, Mt. Pleasant, IA:  319-385-2824, Ext 3  miranda.haes@ia.nacdnet.net     LSRWQI Facebook

Bryce Lidtka, South Skunk Project Coordinator, South Skunk Watershed – Mahaska County SWCD, Oskaloosa,IA:  641-990-0472  bryce.lidtka@ia.nacdnet.net   South Skunk Facebook

Leanne Shehan, Cedar Creek Watershed Coordinator, Cedar Creek Watershed – Wapello County SWCD:  641-954-3478  leanne.Shehan@ianacdnet.net   Cedar Creek Watershed Facebook

Olivia Krehbiel, West Fork Crooked Creek Watershed Coordinator, West Fork Crooked Creek Watershed – Washington County SWCD, Olivia.krehbiel@ia.nacdnet.net    Crooked Creek Watershed