Nishnabotna watershed planning continues | News

(Oakland) — KMAland officials are working together to develop a plan for the East and West Nishnabotna Watersheds.

More discussion on the plan is expected at a planning meeting for the East and West Nishnabotna Watershed Coalition Wednesday morning at 9 at the Oakland Community Center. Cara Marker-Morgan is project coordinator of Golden Hills Resource, Conservation and Development, which is facilitating the coalition’s formation. Marker-Morgan tells KMA News the plan is designed to be proactive, rather than reactive, on mitigating future flooding problems on both watersheds.

“All too often we have funds that are brought to the area because of a flood,” said Marker-Morgan. “It’s more reactive. So, places like Fremont County and Mills County received funds, because we had a flood. What this plan is to do is to look at the whole watershed, and the potential of maybe holding back some water in those areas, and slowing down the water further north, rather than reacting to a flood that has already happened.”

Funding from the $96.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is helping making the plan possible. The University of Iowa’s Flood Center and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are assisting in the development. Marker-Morgan says the coalition’s purpose is to bring stakeholders together to plan for the rivers’ future.

“Every single city has been invited from within the watersheds,” she said. “Every county has been invited from within the watersheds. All the soil and water conservation districts have been invited. Those are the three jurisdictions that have been appointed to be actual board members. Then, of course, we invite the public, and anybody interested in the watershed.”

About 25 cities, counties and soil and water conservation agencies have joined the coalition on the East…

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