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Upper Whitebreast Creek Final Report

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					FINAL REPORT
     1
                    Upper Whitebreast Creek Water Quality Project
                                    Final Report

                                            Table of Contents
I.   Project Executive Summary                                  3

II. Background Information                                      3
      Watershed Characteristics                                 4
      Table 1. Land Cover                                       4
      Water Resource Concerns and Impairments                   5

III. Project Plan                                               6
       Project Description                                      6
       Project Goals and Objectives                             7
       Methods                                                  7

IV. Project Results                                             8
      Project Accomplishments                                   8
      Table 2. BMP Progress Summary                             10
      Pollutant Reduction                                       10
      Table 3. Sediment Delivery Reduction                      11
      Additional Support                                        11

V. Information and Education                                    11

VI. Conclusions                                                 13

VII. Project Funding and Budget Summary                         14
       Table 4. Funding Sources by Fiscal Year                  14
       Acknowledgements                                         16

Appendix A – Maps of Project Area
      Overview Map
      Land Cover Map
      Sediment Delivery Map

Appendix B – Information and Education Materials

Appendix C – Other Supporting Information




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   I.      PROJECT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Upper Whitebreast Creek is a warm water stream located in Clarke and Lucas counties in southern Iowa.
Located within the Des Moines River drainage area, the watershed of Upper Whitebreast Creek has an area of
76,639 acres. The watershed is comprised primarily of agricultural land in row crop, hay, pasture, and
woodland. Stephens State Forest is located in the eastern end of the watershed.

Iowa’s 2004 Section 303(d) List of Impaired Waters included 28.1 miles of Upper Whitebreast Creek extending
from Little Whitebreast Creek to Brush Creek near the town of Lucas (see attached map, Appendix A,
Overview). This reach of Upper Whitebreast Creek is a Class B (LR) water body as listed in Iowa’s 305(b)
Water Quality Report. Overall use and aquatic life are only partially supported in this stream segment. Adverse
conditions that are thought to contribute to the biological impairment include: bank instability, excessive silt
deposition, lack of in-stream cover, stream channelization, and incision. The impairment is not caused by a
pollutant therefore the establishment of a TMDL is not required.

The goal of the Upper Whitebreast Creek Water Quality Project was to apply best management practices
(BMPs) to reduce sedimentation, nutrients, and pesticides in Upper Whitebreast Creek. An assessment of the
stream channel, gully erosion sites, and upland sheet and rill erosion was completed to determine priority
BMPs. The assessment provided the local work group with information to develop and implement strategies to
improve and protect water quality in Upper Whitebreast Creek.

These strategies are based on the application of priority BMPs with a high potential for reducing sediment and
agricultural chemicals in the watershed. The priority BMPs address livestock access to the stream, gully
erosion adjacent to the stream, restoring functioning riparian zones, and reducing upland gully erosion and sheet
and rill erosion in targeted areas of the watershed. BMPs deemed most appropriate include filter strips, riparian
forest buffers, grazing management systems, grade stabilization structures, water and sediment control basins,
grassed waterways, and terraces. Geographic information system (GIS) models, sediment delivery reduction
calculations, and water quality monitoring (IOWATER) were used to plan and estimate the impact of BMPs.
Watershed outreach activities included outdoor classrooms, newsletters, newspaper articles, public
presentations, and workshops.

The goals of the Upper Whitebreast Creek Water Quality Project have been met with a few exceptions. Over 15
different types of BMPs were implemented by the project, treating 7,111 acres and reducing sediment delivery
to the creek by 12,456 tons per year. These BMPs will reduce sediment, nutrient, and chemical loading, reduce
erosion, and improve water quality.

   II.     BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Upper Whitebreast Creek Water Quality Project began on March 24, 2008 with the new project
coordinator’s first day of work. This project’s contract expired June 30, 2011. A previous project (2001-2006)
involved the entire Whitebreast Creek watershed from the headwaters to the mouth at Lake Red Rock. This
previous project’s goal was to improve water quality in Whitebreast Creek and Whitebreast Bay of Lake Red
Rock. Whitebreast Creek is a major contributor of sediment to Lake Red Rock. This deposition has decreased
flood storage capacity, adversely affected the habitat for fish and wildlife, and reduced recreational benefits of
the lake. Funding came from 319, WPF, WSPF, and EQIP.

The previous project was designed to work with the Whitebreast Watershed Association and the Army Corps of
Engineers with a Section 206 Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project. The 206 project was designed to restore
aquatic habitat by constructing grade stabilization structures, shallow water areas, and riffle and pool structures.

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The scope of the project was focused to the headwaters after a section of Upper Whitebreast Creek was placed
on Iowa’s 2004 Impaired Waters List. In addition, funding has never been approved for the 206 project.

Watershed Characteristics

Upper Whitebreast Creek is a warm water stream located in Clarke and Lucas counties in southern Iowa. Upper
Whitebreast Creek includes the headwaters from approximately 4 miles west of Interstate 35 to the confluence
of South Whitebreast Creek and Whitebreast Creek to its confluence with Brush Creek (see attached map,
Appendix A, Overview). The project area is the western part of Upper Whitebreast Creek (HUC 10:
0710000813), consisting of the watershed upstream of the confluence of Brush Creek and Whitebreast Creek.

The Upper Whitebreast Creek watershed is predominately in the Shelby-Lamoni-Arispe and Grundy-Haig-
Arispe soil associations. For Shelby-Lamoni-Arispe soil associations, most of the landscape is gently rolling to
steep and slopes range from 5 to 25 percent. Most of this soil association is used for hay and pasture. The
gently sloping and moderately sloping upland soils are used for cultivated crops. The main resource concerns
are sheet and rill erosion, ephemeral gullies, and classic gully erosion. The major concerns in pasture
management are overgrazing and grazing when the soils are wet, both of which increase erosion.

For Grundy-Haig-Arispe soil associations, most areas of the landscape are nearly level to gently rolling. Slopes
range from zero to nine percent. Land is used mainly for cultivated crops. In nearly level and gently sloping
areas, it is well suited to corn, soybeans, small grains, and grass/legume hay. The main concerns of
management are controlling soil erosion, preventing the formation of ephemeral gullies, improving drainage,
and maintaining or improving fertility and tilth. Erosion is a severe hazard if row crops are grown in
moderately sloping areas.

The watershed consists of 76,639 acres. Row crop, hay, and grazing are the primary land uses in the watershed.
There is a significant amount of woodland that is predominantly used for outdoor recreation and hunting.
Stephens State Forest is located in the lower end of the watershed. Table 1 below shows the extent of land uses
identified in the watershed assessment (See attached map, Appendix A, Land Cover).

Table 1. Land cover types in the Upper Whitebreast Creek watershed.
Land Cover                     Acres                %
Row Crop                       19345             25.1%
Pasture                        16598             21.6%
Timber                         13410             17.4%
Grassland                       7141              9.3%
CRP                             6390              8.3%
Shrub/Scrub                     4992              6.5%
Unclassified                    3286              4.3%
Grazed Timber                   2750              3.6%
Farmstead                        915              1.2%
Urban/Residential                717              0.9%
Ponds and/or Waterway            509              0.7%
Wildlife Area                    260              0.3%
Parkland                          99              0.1%
Non Ag                            86              0.1%
Water                             37              0.0%
Grassland Sodbust                 31              0.0%
Mixed Hay                         21              0.0%
Land Idled                        17              0.0%
Hog Confinement                   13              0.0%
Cemetery                           9              0.0%
                                                         4
Const Activity                    7               0.0%
Buildings                         5               0.0%
Grain Bins                        1               0.0%

The watershed includes about half of the town of Osceola in the northwest corner of the watershed and the town
of Woodburn in the central portion of the watershed. Interstate 35 and State Highway 69 run through the
western portion of the watershed. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad also has a major track that runs
east to west through the watershed carrying approximately 50 trains per day.

Public uses of Upper Whitebreast Creek have included fishing, trapping, and some limited hiking and camping.
No studies have been done to assess the number of user days on the Upper Whitebreast Creek. However, from
discussions with local landowners, it is estimated that Upper Whitebreast Creek has 2,200 user days per year.

Water Resource Concerns and Impairments

Iowa’s 2004 Section 303(d) List of Impaired Waters included 28.1 miles of Upper Whitebreast Creek extending
from Little White Breast Creek to Brush Creek near the town of Lucas (see attached map, Appendix A,
Overview). This portion of Whitebreast Creek is a Class B (LR) water body (aquatic life). Based on data
collected in 2002 by the DNR/UHL REMAP project, the aquatic life classification was only partially supported,
thus causing the impairment.

In Iowa’s 305(b) Water Quality Report, the Iowa DNR assessment of designated uses and levels of use
impairment for lakes and streams indicates that Upper Whitebreast Creek is impacted by agricultural nonpoint
sources of water quality impairment. Aquatic habitat is further impacted by channel modifications. As part of
the REMAP sampling project, stream physical habitat assessment found adverse conditions that are thought to
contribute to the biological impairment. These include: bank instability, excessive silt deposition, lack of in-
stream cover, stream channelization, and incision. Stream temperature exceeded 97 degrees F during
temperature monitoring in June 2002. Channel alterations resulting in wide, shallow, and sluggish stream flow
conditions probably contribute to elevated stream temperature. The impairment is not caused by a pollutant
therefore the establishment of a TMDL is not required.

Upper Whitebreast Creek has been altered by centuries of change in the watershed. The stream has suffered
from a loss of riparian timber and vegetation due to the conversion to row crops and pastures. The stream has
also been channelized in several locations. The end result is a tremendous sedimentation problem in Upper
Whitebreast Creek.

Suspended sediment transport assessment studies done in the Upper Whitebreast Creek watershed were
completed by district and DNR employees in the winter and spring of 2007. The assessment estimates that
annual sedimentation from sheet and rill erosion delivered to the Upper Whitebreast Creek is 24,576 tons per
year. The assessment shows that stream banks are unstable along 34.9 miles (50%) of the channel length. This
instability is further aggravated by uncontrolled livestock access. Channel stability is also greatly degraded by
the presence of several knick points in the stream channel.

Uncontrolled livestock access along 23 miles (33%) of stream channel has severely degraded the stream
channel. The riparian zone has been degraded along 34 miles (48%) of the stream corridor. About nine miles
of the stream channel have a combination of unstable stream banks, poor riparian areas, and uncontrolled
livestock access. A high proportion of the knick points are located in this nine mile length of stream.

Gully erosion also has a great impact on water quality in the stream channel as gully erosion has a high
sediment delivery rate. Of 96 upland gullies surveyed, 28 (29%) were eroding at greater than 1 ton/year/100
                                                         5
feet of length. Of eroding gullies, the average erosion rate was 3.4 tons/year/100 feet of length. One hundred
sixty-seven severe gully erosion sites were identified immediately adjacent to the stream channel with nearly
100% sediment delivery.

This annual sedimentation over the years has impacted the resources in the following ways:
         Vertebrate and invertebrate aquatic life is continually threatened.
         Silt covers and destroys fish eggs.
         Silt buries invertebrate life causing its destruction.
         Silt suffocates fish or clogs their gills and interferes with respiration.
         The stream depth is destroyed thus reducing fish habitat.
         Waterfowl food is reduced with the destruction of invertebrate life.
         Habitat is lost for migratory staging and brood cover.
         There is a decrease in recreational use.
         The waterway loses its capacity to hold water, which causes flooding along the stream. Habitat for
           mammalian populations is lost.

The Upper Whitebreast Creek drainage area is also part of the 6,500 square miles of uncontrolled drainage that
impacts Lake Red Rock. Lake Red Rock, built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, became operational in
1969. Lake Red Rock originally had a permanent pool of 10,400 acres. Sediment from cropland, urban areas,
road ditches, and gullies contributed to a reduction of the permanent pool, recorded as 6,800 surface acres in
1989. Sediment from Whitebreast Creek has greatly contributed to the siltation problems in Lake Red Rock.

   III. PROJECT PLAN
Project Description

Due to the efforts of local citizens, the Whitebreast Watershed Association was formed in 1996 for the purpose
of finding ways to restore Whitebreast Creek. These efforts led to a partnership between the Whitebreast
Watershed Association, the NRCS, and the Rock Island District Army Corps of Engineers. This partnership
expanded to include a large number of organizations. A “Joint Agreement for Forming the Whitebreast
Watershed Project, pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 28E (1998)” was executed on October 14, 1999 and updated
on November 12, 2001, by the following entities:
       Clarke County Board of Supervisors
       Lucas County Board of Supervisors
       Marion County Board of Supervisors
       Warren County Board of Supervisors
       Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District
       Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District
       Lucas County Soil and Water Conservation District
       Clarke County Soil and Water Conservation District
       Iowa Department of Natural Resources
       Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship; Division of Soil Conservation
       Whitebreast Watershed Association

The purpose of the 28E Agreement was to create a watershed organization pursuant to the laws of the State of
Iowa and the requirements of the Water Resources Development Act authorized by Public Law 99-662 and
administered by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. As a result of this effort, in July of 1999, the
Whitebreast Watershed Project received approval from the Corps of Engineers for a “Preliminary Restoration
Plan” under Section 206 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986. A grant application was developed
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to enhance the implementation of the Section 206 Project, which is officially titled “The Whitebreast Creek
Watershed Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Section 206 Project” (which will be referred to as the 206 Project).

The primary purposes in submitting this application were to obtain continued funding for upland treatment
above the 206 structure sites and the project coordinator position and to obtain additional funding for technical
assistance in the form of three full time soil conservation technicians and a part time GIS (geographic
information systems) technician. The technical assistance dollars were to be used to help the project coordinator
work to implement the Section 206 Project and to build the Whitebreast Watershed Association into an
economically stable, grass roots organization with the capacity to correct and prevent problems in the
Whitebreast Creek Watershed. This application is still pending with the US Army Corps of Engineers and is not
likely to be funded in the near future. The IDALS Division of Soil Conservation and Iowa DNR have expended
in excess of $1.5 million in the watershed for water quality protection from 2001 - 2007.

Because the 206 project was not likely to be funded and a portion of Upper Whitebreast Creek was included in
Iowa’s 2004 Impaired Waters List, local efforts were concentrated on the headwaters in Clarke and Lucas
counties. This resulted in the application and approval of 319, WPF, and WSPF funding for the Upper
Whitebreast Creek Water Quality Project.

Project Goals and Objectives

The objective of the Upper Whitebreast Creek Water Quality Project is to improve water quality and reduce
erosion in Upper Whitebreast Creek and especially to improve water quality in the portion of Whitebreast Creek
designated as impaired in Iowa’s 303(d) List of Impaired Waters and Iowa’s 305(b) Water Quality Report.

Project goals include:
    Reduce sediment, nutrient, and chemical loading to Upper Whitebreast Creek by implementing priority
        BMPs as follows:
           o Implement grazing management systems on 1,000 acres adjacent to Upper Whitebreast Creek.
           o Install grade stabilization structures, water and sediment control basins, and grassed waterways
                for gully control at 50 locations.
           o Install five in-stream grade control structures for control of in-stream knick points.
           o Install riparian forest buffers, filter strips, and complete bank shaping and revegetation to
                improve riparian areas and reduce stream bank erosion along three miles of stream channel.
           o Install upland treatment measures on 125 acres of upland crop land that is currently delivering
                sediment at greater than one ton/acre/year. Practices may include terraces and grassed
                waterways.
           o Develop a strategy to work with towns to reduce urban runoff.

Methods

The Upper Whitebreast Creek assessment has provided the local work group with information to develop and
implement strategies to improve and protect water quality in Upper Whitebreast Creek and is particularly
targeted to the segment of the stream that has been identified as impaired by Iowa’s 2004 Section 303(d) List of
Impaired Waters and Iowa’s 305(b) Water Quality Report.

These strategies are based on the application of priority BMPs with a high potential for reducing sediment and
farm chemicals in the watershed. The priority BMPs will address livestock access to the stream, gully erosion
adjacent to the stream, restoring functioning riparian zones, and reducing upland gully erosion and upland sheet
and rill erosion in targeted areas of the watershed.

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BMPs needed to address the priority issues in the watershed have been identified based on landowner interest,
assistance from other programs, and potential to decrease the delivery of sediment and associated pollutants to
Upper Whitebreast Creek. The principal BMPs selected include:

      Grazing management systems which may include:
           o Fencing
           o Livestock exclusion
           o Managed grazing (rotational grazing)
           o Livestock watering facilities
           o Stream crossings
           o Restoration of riparian zones
      Gully stabilization measures for both upland gullies and those immediately adjacent to the stream
       (which may facilitate fencing for grazing management):
           o Grade stabilization structures
           o Water and sediment control structures
           o Fencing
      In-stream grade control (knick points):
           o Stone weir and riffle structures (may be installed in conjunction with livestock crossing and
               watering access)
           o Sheet piling in channel structures
      Winter feeding stations for livestock feeding during winter months
      Riparian zones:
           o Filter strips
           o Riparian forest buffers
      Bank stabilization:
           o Filter strips
           o Riparian forest buffers
           o Bank grading, sloping, and establishing to permanent vegetation
           o Managed grazing
      Upland sheet and rill erosion control:
           o Terraces
           o Grassed waterways
      Urban issues:
           o To be determined after discussion with city officials and addressed in future water quality plans

   IV.      PROJECT RESULTS
Project Accomplishments

The goals of the Upper Whitebreast Creek Water Quality Project have been met with a few exceptions. Over 15
different best management practices were implemented by the project to treat 7,111 acres and reduce sediment
delivery to the creek by 12,456 tons per year. These best management practices will reduce sediment, nutrient,
and chemical loading, improve water quality, and reduce erosion.

One goal was to install grade stabilization structures, water and sediment control basins, and grassed waterways
for gully control at 50 locations. Forty six grade stabilization structures, 14 water and sediment control basins,
and 14,745 feet of grassed waterways have been constructed to control gullies at well over 50 locations.

Another goal was to install upland treatment measures on 125 acres of upland crop land that is currently
delivering sediment at greater than 1 ton/acre/year. Over 500 acres of uplands have been treated with the
                                                        8
construction of 43,411 feet of terraces and 14,745 feet of grassed waterways. Most of this land had been
delivering sediment at greater than one ton/acre/year.

Three miles of stream channel were to be treated to improve riparian areas and reduce stream bank erosion by
installing riparian forest buffers, filter strips, and bank shaping and revegetation. This goal was accomplished
by utilizing the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to restore 378 acres of wetlands, install 10 acres of filter
strips, and plant 19 acres of native vegetation. These CRP lands improve riparian areas and reduce stream bank
erosion along 4.2 miles of stream channel and 2 miles of tributaries.

Grazing management systems were to be implemented on 1,000 acres adjacent to the creek. This goal was
accomplished by implementing grazing management on 1,931 acres with 390 acres on the main channel and
1,541 acres on tributaries.

Another goal was to develop a strategy to work with towns to reduce urban runoff. A letter was sent to the
mayor of Osceola telling him about the project and asking him to contact the project coordinator if the city
would like any assistance with storm water management. No response was received even though the mayor had
recently attended a local resource concern meeting in which a presentation was given by the project coordinator.
A rain barrel workshop was scheduled for June 2009 but no one attended. On a positive note, an Osceola
homeowner installed a rain garden utilizing the state’s low interest loan program. This rain garden could be
used in the future as a demonstration site for storm water management.

Lastly, a goal was to install five in-stream grade control structures for control of in-stream knick points. One of
the worst knick points threatened a road bridge and was planned on being treated in combination with a
previously planned EQIP stream crossing. Unfortunately, the project coordinator could not locate this or any
other knick point. It may be possible that high stream flows from the last few years of heavy rain could have
filled in the knick point. This problem and lack of landowner interest prevented any work from being done on
knick points.

Table 2 below summarizes the project’s goals and accomplishments by best management practice (BMP) type
or activity and fiscal year (FY).

Table 2. BMP Progress Summary




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                                             Original               FY08-09*                       FY10                       FY11                  FY12
                                             Project       FY08-09* Accomplish FY10                Accomplish     FY11        Accomplish FY12       Accomplish Cumulative
BMP Type or Activity                         Goals         Goals    ments      Goals               ments          Goals       ments      Goals      ments      Total
Field days                                                                       1                            1                          1      1               1               4
IOWATER snapshots                            2/year                 2            2             2              1           2              2      2               1               6
News releases                                as needed                           0                            4                          4                      2              10
Newsletter                                   quarterly              4            4             4              4           4              3      4               2              13
Public presentations                                                             7                            4                          3                      2              16
Bank grading & vegetate (feet)                       250          50             0          100               0         100              0      0               0               0
Fencing (feet)                                    20,000       5,000        18,881        7,500          13,784       7,500          3,459 5,000            4,135         40,259
Filter strips CRP (acres)                             25           5             0           10              10          10              0      5               0              10
Filter strips non CRP (acres)                         25           5             0           10               0          10              0      0               0               0
Grade stabilization structures                        25           5            20           10              10          10             12      5               6              48
Grassed waterways (feet)                          10,000       2,000         7,260        4,000               0       4,000          4,500 2,000            2,985         14,745
Grassed waterways - critical area (acres)             20           5             0           10               0           5              0      0               0               0
Heavy use area - stream crossing                      10           3             4            4               0           3              0      1               0               4
Heavy use area - watering                             15           3             0            6               3           6              5      0               2              10
Livestock exclusion (acres)                          250          50            28          100              12         100              0     10               0              40
Livestock watering facilities                         10           3             6            4               7           3              1      5               2              16
Managed grazing (acres)                            1,000         300         1,172          350             405         350            257    250              76          1,910
Pasture & hayland planting (acres)                 1,000         200           590          400             175         400             32     25               0             797
Riparian forest buffers CRP (acres)                   10           2             0            4               0           4              0      5               0               0
Riparian forest buffers non CRP (acres)               10           2             0            4               0           4              0      0               0               0
Sheet piling in channel                                2           0             0            1               0           1              0      0               0               0
Stone weir & riffle structures                         5           1             0            2               0           2              0      0               0               0
Terraces (feet)                                   30,000       6,000        11,375        9,500          12,756       9,500         21,203 10,000           3,450         48,784
Timber stand improvement (acres)                     250          50           154          100               0         100             24     50               0             178
Water & sediment control basins                       25           5             3            5              10           5              1      5               0              14
Wetland restoration CRP (acres)                        0           0             0            0              79           0            323      0               0             402
Winter feeding stations                                2           0             0            1               0           1              0      1               0               0

*Project started March 24, 2008, near the end of FY08. These last three months of FY08 are included in FY09.




Pollutant Reduction

Over 15 different best management practices were implemented by the project to treat 7,111 acres and reduce
sediment delivery to the creek by 12,456 tons per year. Table 3 summarizes the sediment delivery reductions
per practice and per fiscal year.

Table 3. Sediment Delivery Reduction
                                                     Sediment                      Sediment                     Sediment                    Sediment                     Sediment
                                                     Delivery                      Delivery                     Delivery                    Delivery                     Delivery
                                             Acres Reduction           Acres       Reduction        Acres       Reduction        Acres      Reduction         Acres      Reduction
BMP                              FY08-09     Treated (tons)      FY10 Treated      (tons)     FY11 Treated      (tons)     FY12 Treated     (tons)     Total Treated     (tons)
Conservation cover (acres)                                          32       32            37   155     155            303                                187      187           340
Fence (feet)                       18881         136          98 13784     148             67 3459        35             10 4135       12            3 40259       331           178
Filter strip (acres)                                                10       10            68                                                              10       10            68
Grade stabilization structure         20         640        1210    10     620           2528    10     831          2349    6        373         1324     46     2464          7411
Grassed waterway (feet)             7260         163         211                               4500       59           44 2985         38           47 14745       260           302
Heavy use area                                                       3        3             4     5        5            5                                   8        8             9
Livestock exclusion (acres)           28          28          24    12       12            11                                                              40       40            35
Pasture/hay planting (acres)         590         590         740 175       175            218    32       32            60                                797      797          1018
Prescribed grazing (acres)          1172        1172         580 405       405            168   278     278            127     76      76           33 1931       1931           908
Rain garden                                                                                       1        1                                                1        1             0
Stream crossing                        4          17           30                                                                                           4       17            30
Terrace (feet)                     11375          87          293 12756       94         291 15830        174          425 3450        26           53 43411       381          1062
Timber stand improvement (acres)     154         154           67                               54         54           25                                208      208            92
Water & sediment control basin         3          43           72    10       37          95     1          3           13                                 14       83           180
Watering facility                      6           6            9     7        6          16     1          1            3    2         2            4     16       15            32
Wetland restoration (acres)                                          79       79         163   299        299          628                                378      378           791

Total                                           3036         3334           1621        3666             1927        3992             527        1464            7111         12456


Additional Support
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The project has continued to work with the Whitebreast Watershed Association and the US Army Corps of
Engineers to implement the Section 206 project. Several meetings have been held to discuss options for getting
the project approved but without any guarantee of funding, landowners and partners are reluctant to invest time
and money.

Another cooperating organization that has collaborated with the project has been with the National Wild Turkey
Federation (NWTF) and its local representative, Dave Whittlesey. He approached the project coordinator about
promoting continuous CRP in the watershed as a part of NWTF’s work agreement with the NRCS. Whittlesey
and the project coordinator contacted landowners in the watershed about their options for CRP and conducted a
workshop to promote continuous CRP practices such as buffers, filters, and wetlands.

The project also worked with the NWTF, Iowa DNR, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to promote
woodland and savanna restoration in the Stephens State Forest Bird Conservation Area (BCA). A workshop
was held to promote habitat restoration in the BCA. The project coordinator gave a presentation about the
water quality project.

   V.      INFORMATION AND EDUCATION
Educating landowners and the general public about wise land use is important to improving water quality. The
information and education (I&E) component of the project consisted of outdoor classrooms, newsletters,
newspaper articles, public presentations, and workshops.

The Clarke County Conservation Board hosts an outdoor classroom for the county’s third graders every year in
May. The project coordinator led hikes at Red Fern Timber or East Lake Park in May 2008, 2009, and 2010.
Both parks are located in the Upper Whitebreast Creek watershed, and the students learned about plant
identification, soil erosion, and water quality.

Starting with the August 2008 summer issue, quarterly newsletters were sent to approximately 175 landowners
and the project’s partners. The two page newsletter informed landowners about project news, cost share
programs, water monitoring, upcoming events, and best management practices.

In September 2008, a “Whitebreast Project Update” article was published in the local Farm Bureau Spokesman.
The article was submitted by Kim Francisco, environmental resource coordinator for Lucas County Farm
Bureau. He is also a landowner in the watershed and a board member of the Whitebreast Watershed
Association. Francisco also submitted articles for the Spokesman in March 2009 about water monitoring, in
March and June 2010 about the Whitebreast Watershed Association’s meetings, and in February 2011 about the
EQIP cost share program.

Project kickoff meetings were held in January 2009 in Clarke and Lucas counties as a part of each county’s
local resource concerns meetings. The project coordinator gave presentations introducing the project, reporting
the results of the assessment, and announcing cost share incentives for the project.

The Whitebreast Watershed Association met in January 2009. The project coordinator gave a presentation to let
the Association know about the new project area, the results of the assessment, and cost share incentives
available. The Association met with the US Army Corps of Engineers in February and June 2010 to discuss the
Section 206 project.

The project coordinator gave a presentation about the project at the Clarke-Decatur contractors’ meeting in
February 2009. Contractors were informed about the project and its cost share incentives and encouraged them
                                                      11
to work with landowners to implement BMPs. The project coordinator also spoke at the February 2010
contractors’ meeting.

Conservation Districts of Iowa hosted a regional meeting in Osceola in March 2009. A presentation about the
project’s cost share incentives was given by the project coordinator to soil and water conservation
commissioners and agency partners.

A presentation about water quality was given to a Murray high school life science class in May 2009. The
project coordinator taught the students about the importance of water quality and what the project is doing to
improve water quality in Upper Whitebreast Creek.

During the Clarke county local resource concerns meeting in January 2009, several rural landowners expressed
concerns about urban runoff causing high stream flows and stream bank erosion. To address these concerns, the
project coordinator planned a “Build a Rain Barrel” work shop for June 2009. Flyers advertising the work shop
were posted at several Osceola businesses, but no one attended the event.

Also in June 2009, Clarke County FSA and NRCS hosted a woman landowner meeting to inform female
landowners about farm programs. The project coordinator spoke to the women about cost share incentives
available to reduce soil erosion. A similar event was held in August 2010.

The Clarke County Fair is held every year in July. In 2009, the Clarke soil and water conservation district and
the project rented a table in the fair’s main hall. The project coordinator and district commissioners distributed
informational materials to fair goers. Promotional water bottles with the project name were also handed out.

With help from the National Wild Turkey Federation, a CRP work shop was held in June 2010. Continuous
CRP options were presented to landowners from Clarke and Lucas counties. Dave Whittlesey from NWTF,
Dennis Schrodt from NRCS, and the project coordinator also met individually with landowners to answer their
questions.

A stream cleanup was held in June 2010. Seven volunteers and the project coordinator picked up trash from
Whitebreast Creek at nine locations and filled the back of a pickup truck with trash including a chainsaw,
bicycle, shop vac, oil filters, and glass.

The local newspaper, Osceola Sentinel, published an article requesting volunteers for the stream cleanup. The
Sentinel also published an article in October 2010 about volunteer opportunities for water monitoring with the
project.

The local Farm Bureau office hosted a field day for Clarke county third graders in September 2010. At one of
the stations, the project coordinator showed a video about the Dust Bowl and talked to students about soil
erosion.

Also in September 2010, a soil conservation work shop was held at the Clarke County Fairgrounds. Topics
included: conservation compliance, no-till, grassed waterways, seeding recommendations, and information
about the water quality project. Area office and field office staff gave presentations. No-till equipment was on
display. Over 35 landowners including 17 from the watershed attended the meeting. Postcard invites were sent
to all priority landowners. An announcement was published in the Osceola Sentinel.

In November 2010, the project hosted a work shop with the NWTF, Iowa DNR, and the US Fish and Wildlife
Service to promote woodland and savanna restoration in the Stephens State Forest Bird Conservation Area
(BCA). The project coordinator gave a presentation about the water quality project.
                                                       12
   VI.      CONCLUSIONS
Having met most of its original goals, the project should be deemed a success. Over 9% of the project’s
watershed area (7,111 acres) was treated by best management practices, resulting in over 12,000 tons of
sediment delivery reduction to the creek. Additional BMPs that have been approved for cost share but not yet
constructed will increase these numbers.

Although not all applicants have been approved for cost share funding, many have been informed about how
their land uses affect the creek’s water quality. The information and education component of the project has
been successful in reaching more landowners than could be helped by cost share alone. The quarterly
newsletter has been the most successful part of the I&E component. The newsletter was mailed or emailed to
175 priority landowners every 3 months. Because of its consistency and frequency, the newsletter was effective
in informing landowners about project updates, meetings and workshops, program deadlines, cost share
incentives, water monitoring, and other things to help them improve water quality.

Grade stabilization structures were a popular and effective BMP. These structures are constructed by building a
dam across a gully. Water pools behind the dam forming a pond. These ponds are very popular because they
provide several benefits including: a source of water for livestock, gully erosion control, fish and wildlife
habitat, aesthetics, and increased property values. They are also effective at trapping sediment. Several to
hundreds of acres of drainage area can be treated by each structure.

Livestock exclusion and buffer and filter strips were not as popular with landowners. Livestock exclusion
involves fencing the stream corridor to keep livestock away from the stream and its banks. Landowners do not
like to do this because frequent flooding can destroy the fences and cause other maintenance issues. Also, the
livestock may need to use the creek as a water source.

Buffer and filter strips were not popular because they create smaller and irregularly shaped crop fields. The
wetland restoration CRP practice was much more popular because it allows the protected area to include an
upland buffer area. This allows whole fields or more attractively shaped fields to be taken out of row crop
production and planted to native grasses and forbs. Only 10 acres of filter strips were implemented during the
project, while almost 400 acres of wetlands and upland buffers were restored.

The project failed to meet its goal to address urban storm water runoff. Although the mayor of Osceola
attended a local resource concerns meeting, he did not respond to a letter from the project coordinator asking for
cooperation in addressing storm water management. Also, a rain barrel work shop was planned but no one
attended. On a positive note, a rain garden was installed by an Osceola homeowner utilizing the low interest
loan program. As rain gardens and rain barrels become more popular, this rain garden could be used as a
promotional demonstration site.

The project also failed to meet its goal to address in-stream knick points. Although the assessment identified 15
knick points, the project coordinator could not locate any of them. The assessment was completed in 2007 so
subsequent heavy rains and high stream flows from 2008 to 2010 may have altered the locations of the knick
points.

Other discrepancies with the assessment were also noticed. For example, the assessment identified segments of
the stream channel that allowed access to livestock. Access to livestock was identified as a major concern for
water quality due to livestock’s detrimental effects on stream banks and riparian vegetation. In many cases
where the assessment identified uncontrolled livestock access to the stream, the project coordinator found no
livestock in the area. This may be due to land conversion to row crop or CRP or errors in the assessment.
                                                       13
The project could have been improved by having the same person do the assessment, write the original
application, and coordinate the project. The project coordinator was hired in 2008 after the assessment and
application were written. By doing all three activities, the learning curve would not be as steep for a new and
inexperienced project coordinator.

   VII. PROJECT FUNDING AND BUDGET SUMMARY
The project utilized a variety of funding sources for project coordination and to provide cost share incentives for
landowners. Project coordination costs provided by Section 319 of the Clean Water Act included supplies,
information and education, indirect costs, and salary and benefits for the project coordinator. Travel and
training costs for the project coordinator were provided by the water protection fund (WPF). Cost share
incentives were provided by 319, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Environmental Quality Incentives
Program (EQIP), Iowa Financial Incentive Program (IFIP), Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP),
Watershed Protection Fund (WSPF), and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP). The following table
provides a summary of the funding sources by fiscal year.

Table 4. Funding Sources by Fiscal Year
  FY2008-09 (3/24/08 – 6/30/09)                     Amount                             Funding Source
Salary and benefits                                $71,000.00                               319
Indirect cost                                      $15,840.00                               319
Travel and training                                 $992.15                                WPF
Supplies                                            $155.00                                 319
Information and education                           $604.14                                 319
Best management practices:
   Fence                                            $10,519.06                               EQIP
   Grade stabilization structure                    $75,207.70                               EQIP
   Grade stabilization structure                    $20,000.00                                IFIP
   Grade stabilization structure                    $14,622.63                               WSPF
   Pasture/hay planting                              $5,041.06                               EQIP
   Pasture/hay planting                              $2,011.83                               WSPF
   Stream crossing                                   $5,025.00                               EQIP
   Terrace                                          $10,762.24                               EQIP
   Terrace                                           $8,603.85                                IFIP
   Terrace                                           $8,856.60                               REAP
   Terrace                                          $12,702.59                               WSPF
   Timber stand improvement                         $12,652.50                               REAP
   Water & sediment control basin                    $2,466.65                               EQIP
   Water & sediment control basin                    $1,237.08                               WSPF
   Watering facility                                 $2,000.00                               EQIP
Total                                              $280,300.08

     FY2010 (7/1/09 – 6/30/10)                      Amount                             Funding Source
Salary and benefits                                $63,800.00                               319
Indirect cost                                      $14,250.00                               319
Travel and training                                 $295.00                                WPF
Information and education                           $401.30                                 319
Best management practices:
   Conservation cover                               $2,134.00                                 CRP
                                                        14
   Conservation cover                 $1,663.20       WHIP
   Fence                             $10,665.68       EQIP
   Fence                              $1,199.59       WSPF
   Filter strip                       $1,034.00       CRP
   Grade stabilization structure     $35,322.70       EQIP
   Grade stabilization structure     $34,233.09       IFIP
   Grade stabilization structure     $44,111.48       WSPF
   Heavy use area                      $350.00        EQIP
   Pasture/hay planting               $6,405.85       EQIP
   Pasture/hay planting               $4,006.16        319
   Terrace                            $3,952.30       EQIP
   Terrace                           $18,697.88       IFIP
   Terrace                           $27,331.14       WSPF
   Water & sediment control basin     $2,042.19       EQIP
   Water & sediment control basin     $7,244.50       IFIP
   Water & sediment control basin    $12,275.18       WSPF
   Watering facility                  $2,631.00       EQIP
   Watering facility                   $219.23        WSPF
   Wetland restoration                $9,287.00       CRP
Total                               $303,552.47

     FY2011 (7/1/10 – 5/15/11)       Amount       Funding Source
Salary and benefits                 $67,000.00         319
Indirect cost                       $13,460.00         319
Travel and training                  $545.00          WPF
Information and education            $480.47           319
Best management practices:
   Conservation cover                 $1,891.00       CRP
   Fence                              $1,220.16       EQIP
   Grade stabilization structure     $51,929.84       EQIP
   Grade stabilization structure     $28,963.75        IFIP
   Grade stabilization structure      $5,000.00       REAP
   Grade stabilization structure     $69,996.49       WSPF
   Grassed waterway                   $1,911.75       REAP
   Grassed waterway                    $955.87        WSPF
   Terrace                           $17,881.00       EQIP
   Terrace                           $15,780.52        IFIP
   Terrace                           $37,620.11       WSPF
   Water & sediment control basin     $1,517.50        IFIP
   Watering facility                   $700.00        EQIP
   Wetland restoration                $2,335.00       CRP
Total                               $319,188.46

FY2012 (7/1/11 – 12/8/11)            Amount       Funding Source
Salary and benefits                                   WPF
Travel and training                   $15.00          WPF
Information and education            $209.76          WPF
Best management practices:
                                        15
  Fence                                          $847.98                              WSPF
  Fence                                         $3,701.50                             EQIP
  Grade stabilization structure                $13,899.39                              319
  Grade stabilization structure                $24,608.91                             WSPF
  Grade stabilization structure                $23,225.50                             EQIP
  Grade stabilization structure                $18,550.90                             IFIP
  Grassed waterway                              $2,238.75                              319
  Terrace                                       $2,503.24                             WSPF
  Terrace                                       $5,686.20                             EQIP
  Terrace                                       $3,001.00                             IFIP
  Watering facility                               $92.59                              WSPF
  Watering facility                             $1,185.00                             EQIP




Acknowledgements

The Clarke and Lucas soil and water conservation districts would like to acknowledge all partners that
contributed to the efforts in the Upper Whitebreast Creek watershed:
      Participating landowners and operators in the watershed
      USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provided technical support for staff and landowners and
       provided office space, equipment, and vehicle usage for the project coordinator
      Iowa Department of Natural Resources administers the federal EPA Section 319 Non-point Source
       Pollution Program and also assisted in watershed project administration and staff support
      Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – Division of Soil Conservation administers the
       Water Protection Fund (WPF) and the Watershed Protection Fund (WSPF) and also assisted in
       watershed project administration and staff
      Local newspapers, Osceola Sentinel and Farm Bureau Spokesman, published press releases




                                                    16
APPENDIX A




    17
18
APPENDIX B




    19
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                                          APPENDIX C
“ADBNet - Whitebreast Creek Segment Data.” The Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
http://programs.iowadnr.gov/adbnet/segment.aspx?sid=1825

“Iowa STORET\WQX Database.” The Iowa Department of Natural Resources/Iowa Geological Survey.
http://programs.iowadnr.gov/iastoret/

“SC Iowa 2010 303(d) Impaired Waters Map and List.” The Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 04 Feb.
2011. http://www.igsb.uiowa.edu/wqm/ImpairedWaters/year2010/ImpairedWaters2010SC.htm




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