Most Endangered Rivers

If you haven’t heard, the Raccoon River (#9) is on the American Rivers 2021 Most Endangered Rivers list. While the Raccoon is listed because of factory farm pollution, we know there are other water quality concerns that need to be addressed. These include multiple low-head dams, eroded streambanks, and tons of sediment impacting river depth and aquatic life. 

We believe in taking a holistic approach to solving these issues and fortunately, the majority of Iowans agree! We must work together, rural and urban, to make sure our drinking water and the places we recreate are protected and healthy for years to come.

Middle Raccoon River – Redfield, IA

The ways we succeed in protecting our rivers:

  • Policy
    • Throughout the year we are connecting with Iowa legislators to make sure they understand the importance of rivers. During session we advocate for more funding for the IDNR Dam Mitigation and Water Trails program and during the summer we facilitate paddle trips with legislators so they can experience the awe of nature from a boat. We also help create bills that protect aquatic life and make sure Iowans are safe while on the water.
    • We are finalizing the components of a Stream and River Restoration Framework that will guide legislators, the public, and state agencies on protecting and restoring Iowa rivers. This will be out in 2022. 
  • Education
    • We have many opportunities throughout the year for professionals and the general public to learn about the importance of rivers. One program for professionals is called the River Restoration Toolbox which provides real-world solutions for river issues. We also host multiple educational events around Iowa for the general public. These include stream clean-ups, webinars, paddle events, and monthly e-newsletters. 

Join us as we continue to make a difference, hold politicians accountable, and educate the public. We need your help and your voice so that no other Iowa rivers end up on an endangered list!