Iowa’s Coldwater Conservancy organized in 2017 to protect and restore the ecosystems that sustain Iowa’s coldwater rivers and streams while expanding public access to these vital and unique natural resources.

ICC formed with the recognition that:

  • We could not continue to address the significant challenges to the ecosystems of our coldwater rivers and streams as stand-alone, volunteer-driven nonprofit organizations.
  • We could not continue to try to protect and restore watersheds and riparian zones of the unique rivers and streams in the “Driftless Area” of northeast Iowa by using the same practices which were used many years ago. We had to work with alliances of like-minded partners to raise the necessary resources to address these significant challenges.

Today’s Challenges

  • Climate change (more severe weather, flooding, rising water temps, plant and species extinction).
  • Antiquated and/or industrial agricultural practices.
  • Challenging political climate affecting environmental policy initiatives
  • Shrinking state and federal conservation budgets.
  • Challenges to public lands.
  • The need to create more outdoor opportunities for underserved populations
  • Increased competition for philanthropic dollars.
  • Rising cost of environmental restoration.