Ag department, Ames to partner on conservation projects in Skunk River Watershed
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will partner with the city of Ames and the Story County Soil and Water Conservation District on water quality projects in the Skunk River watershed. According to a news release, the project will build on a similar project that added more than 50 water quality practices in the Des Moines and Raccoon River watersheds in 2021. The first phase of the Story County project will include the installation of saturated buffers and bioreactors at 25 sites that will reduce nitrogen losses by at least 40%. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said the projects will help meet goals outlined in the state’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy. “This project demonstrates the importance of partnerships and collaboration to achieve our shared water quality goals,” he said. According to the release, the state agriculture department and the city of Ames are streamlining the project management process to make it easier for farmers and landowners to add conservation practices to their fields. The state, city and Story County will cover construction costs of the project, with the county’s Soil and Water Conservation District providing technical support and oversight of design and installation. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.