DES MOINES — The Rathbun Land and Water Alliance received two awards at the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award ceremony held Tuesday, July 15 at the Wallace Building in Des Moines – the Water Quality Special Project Award and the Environmental Education Special Project Award.
Rathbun Land and Water Alliance President John Glenn and Vice President Kim Francisco represented the organization in accepting the awards.
The awards are coordinated by the governor’s office, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress, the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Waste Reduction Center.
The Water Quality Special Project Award:
The Protect Rathbun Lake Project was created by the Rathbun Land and Water Alliance in an effort to protect land located in the Rathbun Lake Watershed and Rathbun Lake, with the primary goal to reduce sediment and phosphorus delivery to Rathbun Lake and water bodies in the watershed. GIS technology was used to create a model that identifies priority land, determined to have the greatest potential to deliver sediment and phosphorous to Rathbun Lake. More than 500 landowners have partnered with the Alliance to install more than 550 sediment basins and grade stabilization structures and 1.3 million feet of terraces. Currently, more than 41,000 tons of sediment and 175,000 pounds of phosphorous are prevented from entering Rathbun Lake annually. The ultimate goal is to treat 30,000 acres of priority land which will reduce annual sediment and phosphorus delivery to Rathbun Lake by an estimated 90,000 tons of sediment and 360,000 pounds of phosphorus
The Environmental Education Special Project Award:
With the ultimate goal to treat 30,000 acres of priority land in the Rathbun Lake watershed. The Rathbun Lake Protector Program employs a variety of outreach activities that help educate potential cooperating landowners, critical to the overall success of the project. Field-level signage is installed on the land of Protectors to both recognize them for their award and to educate and encourage other landowners to participate. Plaques engraved with the names of the Protectors are displayed in each Soil and Water Conservation District office and each fall at the Protect Rathbun Lake Annual Meeting, landowners are recognized as Rathbun Lake Protectors and receive awards for their conservation efforts. To date, nearly 550 landowners have worked with the Alliance to install conservation practices in the watershed, preventing more than 41,000 tons of sediment and 175,000 pounds of phosphorous from entering Rathbun Lake annually.
For more information, visit rlwa. org