Prior to European settlement, wetland basins covered 4 to 6 million acres, or approximately 11% of Iowa's surface area. Wetlands were part of every watershed in the state, but nearly 95% of them have been drained.
In 2005, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Section began its wetland monitoring program in the prairie pothole wetlands located in north-central Iowa, through grant funds provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Since this initial grant a statewide monitoring program has been developed to assess wetlands types throughout Iowa. The results from this monitoring will enable the Iowa DNR to determine the ecological condition of Iowa’s wetlands.
Iowa DNR wetland documents
Current Wetland Monitoring Projects
The Ambient Wetland Monitoring Program currently focuses on monitoring of Pothole, Riverine & Fen Wetlands. Starting in 2015, thirty (10 of each type) wetland sites have been selected for routine monitoring. These sites are sampled three times per year for water quality, vegetation, macroinvertebrates, and fish. The program monitors these sites on a rotational basis, and adds new wetland sites as necessary.
Contact Information Jacklyn Gautsch
Resources for additional wetlands information