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DES MOINES—New signs that help bring awareness to Iowa’s creeks and watersheds will soon be installed in 33 counties, thanks to the Iowa DNR’s new County Creek Sign Grant.
The grant program, introduced earlier this year, provides funds to conservation and natural resource groups to install creek and watershed signs on county roads or city streets within priority watersheds. A watershed is the area of land that drains to a body of water.
“These signs help enhance the awareness of creeks and watersheds in Iowa, especially where watershed projects are underway to improve water quality,” said Steve Hopkins, the DNR’s Nonpoint Source Coordinator with the DNR’s Water Quality Improvement Section.
In this first round of the County Creek Sign Grant Program, 24 projects spanning 33 counties will receive a combined total of $240,000 to install creek signs, river signs and watershed boundary signs on county roads in priority watersheds.
Projects receiving funding for creek signs are located in the following counties (in alphabetical order): Adams, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Cass, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Dallas, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Grundy, Howard, Iowa, Johnson, Keokuk, Kossuth, Plymouth, Polk, Taylor, Union, Washington, Winneshiek and Wright.
These signs will join others installed through a separate project that works with the Iowa Department of Transportation to install creek signs in priority watersheds on state and federal highways in Iowa. Through the Stream Sign Initiative, which began in 2014, about 570 creek signs have been placed across Iowa.
Both the County Creek Sign Grant and Stream Sign Initiative programs are funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Section 319 program and awarded by the Iowa DNR.