Rathbun Land and Water Alliance recognized by Gov. Branstad

On Thursday the Rathbun Land and Water Alliance received the Environmental Excellence Award from Gov. Terry Branstad.

The alliance was formed in 1997 as a public-private partnership non-profit to protect Rathbun Lake.

In the last five years the alliance has spent almost $24 million in the watershed with more than $3.5 million of that actually coming from the landowners themselves putting these practices into place.

â??We're very pleased to have received that. The landowners and watershed have worked extremely hard in putting in practices to retain the soil, phosphorous, on their farms and this is an ongoing program. It'll be going on for a very long time but we feel really good about the work we've completed,â?? said John Glenn, President of Rathbun Land and Water Alliance.

Glenn said this really is just the start of the project and it will never end because there will always be a need to maintain the water quality in Rathbun Lake.

â??We are starting on a new plan, a Rathbun Lake water quality improvement plan where we're going to take a very detailed look at the amount of quantity of soil phosphorous into the lake. We're going to take a very detailed look at practices that we implemented, how well they're working and take a close look at what can we do better,â?? said Glenn.

The alliance will be doing a lot of extra monitoring over the next two to three years to quantify what the have been doing. The data will then be used to improve the way the alliance is going about protecting Rathbun.