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Secretary Naig Expands Water Quality Partnership with Ducks Unlimited 
Iowa Ag Connection - 06/02/2023

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig has announced an expansion of the state's efforts to improve water quality through a partnership with Ducks Unlimited. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and Ducks Unlimited have been collaborating since 2020, and their new 5-year cooperative agreement, valued at $7.1 million, aims to construct over 60 water quality wetlands and implement additional proven practices.

Water quality wetlands play a crucial role in filtering water before it reaches Iowa's rivers, lakes, and streams, while also providing vital habitat for wildlife. Secretary Naig expressed pride in the existing partnership with Ducks Unlimited, which has already yielded significant results. The new agreement will accelerate the construction of wetlands and promote conservation practices that enhance water quality and soil health across the state.

Under the agreement, the IDALS will provide $5.3 million through the state's Water Quality Initiative to support Ducks Unlimited in providing technical assistance and engaging landowners. Additionally, the Department will cover a portion of the installation costs through separate agreements with landowners. Ducks Unlimited will contribute $1.8 million, along with staff resources, outreach efforts, and technical assistance.

The partnership will focus on constructing water quality wetlands, multi-purpose oxbows, bioreactors, and saturated buffers—key components of Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy. In addition to the 60 wetlands, Ducks Unlimited will assist in designing 10 multi-purpose oxbows and aid in the installation of 25 saturated buffers and/or bioreactors.

This collaborative effort exemplifies the commitment of both organizations to preserving highly productive soil, preventing erosion, and protecting Iowa's critical waterways. By joining forces, they strive to safeguard water quality and ensure a high quality of life for present and future generations.

The partnership's impact will extend beyond water quality, as the construction of wetlands and adoption of conservation practices will also provide valuable habitat for wildlife and contribute to the overall sustainability of Iowa's agricultural landscape.

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