The North Raccoon River Watershed Project includes activities in the upper watershed to reduce flooding and improve water quality, as well as infrastructure projects in the city of Storm Lake to mitigate flooding.
The North Raccoon River Watershed Project includes activities in the upper watershed to reduce flooding and improve water quality, as well as infrastructure projects in the city of Storm Lake to protect commercial and residential property from flooding.
The North Raccoon River in Central Iowa is a tributary of the Des Moines River, flowing mainly through the Des Moines Lobe landform, which retains imprints of glacial occupation, such as abundant moraines and shallow wetland basins. Flat land and poor surface drainage dominate this “prairie pothole” landscape. The North Raccoon River Watershed (NRRW) is heavily tiled; approximately 85% of the land is in row crop production with a corn-soybean rotation. The NRRW landscape is considered the most important and threatened waterfowl habitat in North America, supporting more than 300 migratory bird species.
In addition to watershed activities that will take place in the NRRW, the city of Storm Lake is also receiving funds to help make the community more flood resilient. Projects in Storm Lake will include upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant, reconstruction of streets with pervious pavement, and the construction of wetlands.
In 2013, the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy named the NRRW a priority watershed. Many organizations are currently active in the watershed and existing projects will complement the activities of the Iowa Watershed Approach.
A North Raccoon River Watershed Management Authority (WMA) was formed in 2016 to bring partners together to address watershed concerns.