Nonpoint source nutrient pollution from agriculture is a problem for impaired local watersheds throughout the Corn Belt, and as far away as the Gulf of Mexico. More than 80 percent of Iowa’s land mass is managed for agriculture; and the state is the number one and two sources of excess N and P respectively in the Mississippi.
The Leadership and Performance-based Watershed Management project is designed to help improve watersheds in the state. The project, funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service (USDA-CSREES) Integrated Water Quality Program, focuses on establishing watershed groups in impaired sub-watersheds throughout Iowa. Local farmers, rural residents, and business owners residing in the watershed participate in the watershed groups set goals at the watershed level that are environmentally sound and economically practical. The project will be implemented through partnerships of farmers, extension specialists, Iowa State University Extension and state agencies at the state and local level.
• Build local watershed management capacity by developing leadership among landowners and operators within selected impaired watersheds.
• Strengthen partnerships among agency technical providers, educators and farmers through performance-based farmer-led working groups in the watersheds.
• Broaden the range of measures available for local watershed communities to use in evaluating their own agricultural management efforts for environmental improvement. .