Webinar to Discuss Science-based Management of Functional Floodplains

Jan. 25 preservation features Maria Lemke from The Nature Conservancy

January 19, 2023, 12:00 pm | Alena Whitaker

Maria Lemke.AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar taking place Jan. 25 at noon CST will feature Maria Lemke, director of conservation science with The Nature Conservancy, Illinois. Lemke is a freshwater biologist with the Conservancy who works with partners to implement and quantify the effectiveness of agricultural conservation practices in the Mackinaw River watershed. Her research encompasses understanding the effectiveness of agricultural practices in improving water quality and hydrology and floodplain restoration metrics at the Emiquon Preserve in central Illinois.

Iowa Learning Farms is an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach conservation and water quality education program.

In the webinar, “The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve: Science-Based Restoration and Management of Functional Floodplain Along the Illinois River,” Lemke will highlight the history and restoration progress in the Emiquon Preserve, a historic floodplain that was separated from the river by levees in the 1920s for agricultural production.

She will discuss the project objectives of restoring ecological floodplain processes and habitats that promote and sustain native species and communities. In addition, Lemke will showcase the Key Ecological Attributes framework for assessing restoration success.

“With the recent completion of a water control structure, we are well-positioned to improve the conservation status of those floodplain and riverine targets in the preserve that depend on water management and river connectivity,” said Lemke. “Our efforts and studies of the Emiquon Preserve make a significant contribution to understanding large river floodplain restoration in the central United States region and have implications for restoration of critically threatened river ecosystems.”

Participants are encouraged to ask questions of the presenters. People from all backgrounds and areas of interest are encouraged to join.

Webinar access instructions

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before noon CST Jan. 25:

The webinar will also be recorded and archived. All archived webinars are available on the Learning Farms website, so that they can be watched at any time.

Learning Farms has applied for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit for attending this webinar. Those who participate in the live webinar are eligible. Information about how to apply to receive the CEU will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

Upcoming webinars in the series

  • Feb. 1: Kelsey Fisher, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
  • Feb. 8: Pamela Stahke, USDA – Risk Management Agency.
  • Feb. 15: Marshall McDaniel, Iowa State University.
  • Feb. 22: Greg LaBarge, The Ohio State University.
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