Meet Our Members: Iowa Rivers Revival

posted on Thursday, July 21, 2016

Iowa Rivers Revival Group

"The more that we can connect people to the land and rivers, the more that we can positively affect our waters."

Welcome to the seventh entry of Meet Our Members, our series that introduces readers to our member organizations and takes a closer look at how they are creating a safer, healthier and more sustainable Iowa. Today, we’re pleased to feature Iowa Rivers Revival.

Iowa Rivers Revival (IRR) is a non-profit river advocacy group working to create a state-wide river restoration program for Iowa. Their mission: to help Iowans restore, protect and enjoy our rivers.

Currently, IRR is fighting for funding for dam safety mitigation and water trails. IRR’s long-term goal is to set up annual and sustained funding to make Iowa’s rivers and streams safer, more accessible and high use areas for our communities.

“The more that we can connect people to the land and rivers, the more that we can positively affect our waters,” said Molly Hanson, who became executive director in April after serving on the IRR Board of Directors for three years.

IRR also offers educational opportunities for both children and adults to help connect people to Iowa’s rivers.  This includes instruction in everything from paddling and navigating the water to learning how to do water quality testing.

IRR also awards the title River Town of the Year to a town that has put an extraordinary effort in to revitalizing their river. The goal of this award is to highlight cities that are doing a variety of things to improve their rivers.

“Clinton was last year’s winner,” said Hanson. “Their water waste treatment facility was in need of some work and the city helped fund a state of the art facility that takes out both nitrogen and phosphorus from their water and surrounding areas. They created a network that is truly amazing.”

Currently, IRR consists of an executive director, assistant director, board of directors and advisors. As a small non-profit, partnerships with other community organizations – including the Council – are key to helping the organization to accomplish their goals.

IRR encourages Iowans to pay attention to what is happening at the Capitol during the next legislative session around streams and rivers in Iowa, and of course, to get out on the water.

“You have to get people on the river to get them to see the big picture, that water connects everything together,” said Hanson. The best teacher we can have is the river itself.”

  1. conservation
  2. dam mitigation
  3. water quality