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Article Title

Iowa's Wetlands

Document Type

Research

Keywords

Wetlands, marshes, rivers, reservoirs, drainage, wetland inventory

Abstract

The Wisconsin glacier created a 7.6 million acre prairie-marsh-pothole complex in north-central and northwest Iowa. Prairie marshes, valuable for wildlife habitat and water retention, have been relentlessly drained. In 1938, only about 50,000 acres of prairie marshland remained and in 1980 this had been reduced to 26,470 acres of natural marsh. Meandering rivers have been straightened, eliminating miles of river course. Only 1,637 miles are officially designated as meandered streams. While natural marshes and unchannelized streams are threatened aquatic habitats, other wetlands have actually increased. Artificial reservoirs provide 47,562 water acres and 47,700 farm ponds have been constructed. Proper public attitude could increase the acreage of marshland as well as reservoirs. Approximately 5,000 acres of prairie marsh and pothole habitat remains in private ownership. To protect these threatened wetlands, additional money and public support is needed.

Publication Date

March 1981

Journal Title

Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science

Volume

88

Issue

1

First Page

11

Last Page

16

Copyright

© Copyright 1981 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.

Language

EN

File Format

application/pdf

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