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IERQC Webinar Series: Quantifying the Multiple Benefits of Restored Oxbows
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Quantifying the Multiple Benefits of Restored Oxbows by Karen Wilke, The Nature Conservancy

When: 11 AM ET
11:00 AM
Where: United States
Contact: Elizabeth Benjamin

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Quantifying the Multiple Benefits of Restored Oxbows
by Karen Wilke, The Nature Conservancy

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About the Presentation
With growing concerns over the many environmental issues that the Midwest faces, conservation practices that provide multiple benefits are gaining momentum. Oxbow restorations are increasingly popular due to recent research showing incredible ecosystem services provided by them. Oxbows are natural floodplain features formed when a river cuts off a meander as it migrates within its floodplain. Natural oxbows are among the most biologically diverse aquatic systems in the world, but accumulation of sediment can fill the oxbows over time and the benefits they once provided cease. Over 150 oxbows have been restored in the state of Iowa, however there are tens of thousands of future potential restoration sites across the state, and likely similar opportunities exist across the Midwest. As a result, there is a great opportunity to scale up the adoption of this practice to improve water quality and wildlife habitat at a meaningful scale. This presentation will showcase results from recent research that quantified the multiple benefits that restored oxbows provide, while also giving guidelines for identifying and restoring oxbows across the upper Midwest. 

About the Presenter
Karen Wilke has worked as the Boone River Project Director and Iowa Freshwater Specialist for The Nature Conservancy in Iowa for nearly 6 years. She coordinates and leverages many partners and private landowners/farmers to increase the adoption of conservation practices that improve water quality, restore natural hydrology, and increase wildlife habitat.

About the Series
The Interagency Ecological Restoration Quality Committee hosts monthly Webinars in an effort to bring restoration practitioners from across the country together to present and discuss the innovations aimed at improving the quality of ecological restoration data. Presentations are approximately 40 minutes in length, followed by open discussion.

About the Committee
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Great Lakes National Program Office established this Committee (including federal agencies, contractors, and ecological restoration practitioners) in June 2012 to share and develop quality practices that facilitate collection of reliable data for ecological restoration projects funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. This Webinar series supports this collaborative effort; please join us! Contact Lou Blume (USEPA Quality Manager; for more details. 


Pre-approved for 1 CEC under SER's CERP program