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Master River Stewards program offered

OKOBOJI, Iowa -- The Dickinson County Nature Center is offering a Master River Stewards program April-May in the Iowa Great Lakes area. "It's going to be an in-depth program with conservation professionals going over most aspects of water quality...

OKOBOJI, Iowa - The Dickinson County Nature Center is offering a Master River Stewards program April-May in the Iowa Great Lakes area.

“It’s going to be an in-depth program with conservation professionals going over most aspects of water quality,” said Charles Vigdal, Dickinson County Conservation Board. “Water quality is important, and taking this class will give you a leg up on understanding water quality issues and concerns in Iowa. Protecting wetlands, lakes and rivers is a complex issue, and this class will help clear the murky waters of water quality.”

The water quality program includes six weeks of classes with 32 hours of hands-on training and 32 hours of volunteer efforts. The introductory class is April 19 at the Dickinson County Nature Center, and will focus on watersheds.

Topics planned in future classes include river form and function, river chemistry and monitoring, ag production and policies, Iowa’s rivers, stream and riparian zone restoration and their impacts on fish and wildlife, and how to navigate Iowa’s waters. There will be in-class time as well as outdoor activities, such as kayaking.

At the end of the course, participants will choose a water quality project to work on for 32 volunteer hours.

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In addition to the courses, all participants will receive a flash drive with reference materials, a book, a Master River Stewards embroidered patch, a certificate of completion and ongoing support from Iowa Rivers Revival, which created the program.

Registration for Master River Stewards opens Wednesday at dickinsoncountynaturecenter.com and closes April 12.

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