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BIG NEWS - Increase Funding for Dam Mitigation and Water Trails!

IRR, in partnership with IDNR and other supporters, have worked to secure $1 Million for the IDNR Dam Mitigation and Water Trails program (SF600)! This would not have happened without YOU and all the emails, phone calls, and tweets you sent to legislators and other local decision makers. When the House first proposed $1M for this program through the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF) we were anxious to see what the Senate would come back with. They proposed $250K, a huge difference. But our Senators listened to us and other river supporters and approved the $1M. For reference, the most this program has ever received was $2M in 2015 and it has been zeroed out both in 2011 and 2018. We will continue to work hard to make sure more funding is prioritized that support strong communities and healthy rivers.  

You might be asking yourself - what does this money do? Great question! This money helps support towns and cities across Iowa that want to enhance safety, improve recreation, and support quality of life by removing or mitigating dangerous low-head dams and providing water trails access for all Iowans (and tourists)! 

Other parts of the IDNR RIIF budget includes $9.6M for lake restoration projects, $2M for state park infrastructure improvements, and $250K for tree planting projects. This bill and all others are now being sent to the Governor since the 2021 legislative session ended last night (11:41pm for the Senate and 11:45pm for the House). She has 30 days to sign to make them official.


Whitewater course created from low-head dam mitigation project. Ames, IA 2021


The failing Klondike Dam was removed and replaced with rock rapids that maintains the rural water supply, is safer for residents, and allows for fish passage. Larchwood, IA 2013


Achievements since 2008 

- 32 dam mitigation projects complete (22 projects in exploratory phases)

- Over 1,000 miles of designated state water trails (500+ miles of water trails under development)

- 17 water trail maps and guides

- Interactive paddling map highlighting active hazards, rapids, and paddle routes

- 4 whitewater parks (Manchester, Charles City, Elkader, Ames)

- $10M secured for rivers and dam projects (~715K per year) 


Iowa Rivers Revival
PO Box 72  | Des Moines, Iowa 50301
515-350-4387 | info@iowarivers.org

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