Senator Hogg Continues Leadership on Flood Management Effort in Iowa

In an e-mail to his constituents yesterday, Iowa State Senator Rob Hogg demonstrated his solid leadership and vision on flood management.  Hogg described a recent tour of five Iowan counties with the sole purpose of learning more about “the potential for watershed management to reduce future flood damage in Cedar Rapids.”

Senator Hogg has frequently demonstrated his commitment to flood management issues. On June 2, 2010 he joined American Rivers in Cedar Rapids on the banks of Iowa’s Cedar River to announce the Cedar River as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers.  The threat of flood risk and outdated flood management landed the Cedar in the number five spot on this year’s list.

Senator Hogg stated then that “The designation of the Cedar River as one of America’s most endangered is a call to citizens within the watershed to do more to improve water quality and guard against future flood damage, and it is a call to government at all levels to provide the resources we need to help us get the job the done.”

Today, Hogg continues to advocate for better flood plain management, calling the need “urgent.”  During his tour, he learned first hand of conservation and restoration practices that are being funded by the Natural Resources Conservation Service under USDA including the Mississippi River Basin Initiative, Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), Emergency Watershed Program (EWP) and Wetland Reserve Program (WRP).  Learn more about the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s conservation programs under USDA.

“Based on my tour, I am convinced that better watershed management can play a leading role in protecting Cedar Rapids from future flood damage.” Hogg said.  “If we had 1,000 projects like the CREP project in Floyd County, or the riparian farmland project in Bremer County, in the Cedar River basin, we could go a long way toward reducing peak flood events and preventing millions, if not billions, in flood damage. In addition, we would reap significant benefits for habitat, recreation, rural development and improved water quality.” 

It will take resources and time to truly address flood management in a way that protects citizens and the environment.  Hogg estimates that it could take $700 million over the next 10 to 20 years.  “But if we get started on it, I believe we can hold thousands of acre-feet of water in our watershed, reap many economic and environmental benefits, and avoid much of the expense and trauma of having to clean up our homes, businesses and neighborhoods again when the next flood happens.”

We agree. Natural, non-structural flood management solutions, like protecting wetlands and restoring floodplains, are cost-effective and provide natural security, protecting communities from storms and flood damage.

Read Senator Hogg’s e-mail.