An open meeting to gather public input on projects, goals and priorities for Iowa’s rivers and waterways will be held at the Johnson County Fairgrounds ISU Extension Building on Saturday, November 23rd, from 9:30-1pm. Sign-in will start at 9:15. The Fairgrounds are located near the “Airport” exit from Highway 218 (4265 Oak Crest Hill Rd. SE). The event is sponsored by Iowa River Friends on behalf of the Iowa Legislature’s Study Committee on Rivers and Waterways. The public is invited to contribute information and opinions about the topic of river restoration. The Legislature’s Study Committee will include this testimony and information in their Des Moines meeting in December to analyze the input from around the state.
Residents and organizations from the counties of Johnson, Iowa, Linn, Cedar, Muscatine and Washington are especially encouraged to participate, though people from other eastern Iowa locales are welcome. State legislators from the area as well as from the Study Committee have been invited.
Specifically, the Study Committee wants to determine: What kind of river and waterway projects should the state consider supporting? How should projects be prioritized? What goals should define Iowa’s river investment program? What improvements related to Iowa’s rivers should be measured?
At the beginning of the meeting there will be a short overview on river health issues in Iowa, and a charge from State Legislator Chuck Isenhart, a ranking member of the Environmental Protection Committee and liaison to the Watershed Planning Advisory Council. Individuals and groups who wish to make input should address one or more of the preceding questions related to river and waterway improvement. There will be opportunity for people to make written contributions to the Study Committee as well as oral comments on November 23rd. The Iowa River Friends website also includes a survey feature for contributions from those not able to attend (http://iowariverfriends.org/2013/11/12/youre-invited-public-hearing-112313/).
Iowa River Friends, formed early this year, is dedicated to improving, protecting, and enjoying the Iowa River, its creeks and streams. I.R.F. seeks to include a wide variety of interests and stakeholders in its membership and governance, and to act as a bulletin board for information pertaining to the watershed. For more information about I.R.F. or the public meeting, visit www.iowariverfriends.org.