Whitewater venues help restore rivers

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: January 17 2014 | 10:47 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:16 am in

It is unfortunate that Howard Ashlock’s Jan. 12 letter “State neglects natural resources” was critical of the Department of Natural Resources’ efforts to revitalize Iowa’s rivers.

Specifically, the whitewater venue activities in Charles City, Elkader and the future Manchester course are exactly what is needed to improve water quality and restore the natural river environment.

The whitewater venues accomplish the following improvements: elimination of low-head dams, improvement of river safety and restoration of the free-flowing nature of the river; installation of fish ladders to facilitate natural fish mobility; restoration of river banks with natural structures that improve water quality; improvement to river recreational access, thus promoting Iowa’s rivers as a resource to be protected and not commercially exploited.

While I agree with Ashlock that more efforts are needed to protect Iowa’s natural resources, I don’t think criticizing efforts that accomplish that goal is a constructive approach.

Dave Hillman

Cedar Rapids


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