Protected Water Areas Program

Protected Water Areas (Scenic Rivers) are land areas adjacent to five rivers in Iowa. PWA areas were legislatively authorized and are designated by the commission after an in-depth study for permanent designation.

Five areas were designated with public input as having outstanding cultural and natural resource values from 1985-1990 in accordance with Iowa code. These are some of Iowa's most scenic natural areas. Under the REAP program in the early 1990s, the PWA program became voluntary public land acquisition fund for more than a decade. The PWA program includes segments of the following rivers:

 Five Protected Water Areas (Scenic Rivers)
(With PWA designation in parenthesis)

1.  Wapsipinicon River
(Sweets Marsh to Mississippi)
2.  Middle Raccoon River
(Panora to Redfield)
3.  Upper Iowa River
(Kendallville to Highway 76)
4.  Little Sioux River
(Spencer to Linn Grove)
5.  Boone River
(Brewers Creek to Des Moines River)

paddling the Boone River

Iowa DNR is currently conducting a pilot project with Boone River PWA landowners to explore other types of voluntary land protection methods, including conservation easements and other land-protection agreements.

Five Protected Water Areas in Iowa (Scenic Rivers)

Boone River PWA - Map

Outreach Workshop Summaries