Protecting Local Drinking Water
Supporting Positive Soil Health Practices
Improving overall water quality
Meet Erin Erickson, MR WMA Watershed Coordinator
Erin Erickson joined the Maquoketa River WMA in July 2021 after moving to Linn County, Iowa. Originally from Missouri, she started her love for nature as a young girl and continued her conservation work throughout her career. After her graduation from Missouri State University, she moved to Colorado to work for the Department of Agriculture. Those five years working for the U.S Forest Service as a trail crew member, wildlife technician, and wildland firefighter had a huge impact on her career and work ethic. She learned to be resourceful, and to give it her all with limited resources. She also learned the importance of communicating with the crew around her.
After her time with the U.S. Forest Service, Erin moved to Oregon to work for the Bureau of Land Management where she had the opportunity to capture and band the threatened Northern Spotted Owl. Nothing compared to having such a sensitive species in her hands looking up while she collected biological data to use in a demographic study over the Pacific Northwest. Erin and her husband then moved to Northern California. Erin took a break from work to raise their first daughter for a couple years. Then, after a brief stint with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, she began her career in the non-profit conservation field.
She most recently worked for a Land Trust in California where she oversaw the monitoring of 145 Conservation Easements. Erin also coordinated with volunteers, landowners and contractors for various projects on protected lands. She has learned how to communicate with key stakeholders in the community to accomplish a shared mission. Erin also enjoyed creating ArcGIS maps for land conservation projects. Her overall biggest takeaway was learning to stay flexible. Families, weather, natural disasters and work deadlines all play a role in what daily schedules look like in reality and communicating those challenges create a favorable work life balance for everyone involved.
Erin is excited to be the Watershed Coordinator for the Maquoketa River WMA. She is looking forward to showing her young daughters all the beautiful rivers, creeks and lakes where her family can paddle their canoe. She believes this will be an amazing opportunity as well as to have a positive impact focused on clean water and conservation in Iowa. You can reach Erin via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 319.826.1132.
Learn more about the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities
Thanks to the City of Manchester, the Maquoketa River Watershed Management Authority in 2020 received the 'gift' of a team of University of Iowa students to help us with our Watershed Management Plan. Phase I of the plan was completed in May 2021. See the MR WMA Phase I plan and other details here: https://iisc.uiowa.edu/maquoketa-river-watershed-management-plan.
We enjoyed our experience SO MUCH with the students, faculty and staff we included the request for funds to continue to work with the University in our grant proposal to the Iowa DNR. Work on Phase II of our Watershed Management Plan (WMP) started fall of 2021 and will focus on subwatershed areas. Anticipated completion date of Phase II is mid-2022. As a part of our partnership with IISC, the MR WMA has the capacity to work with more than 100 University of Iowa faculty and students on several additional planning projects.
We requested project ideas from WMA members and partners to be completed during the 2021 - 2022 academic year. Projects were selected based on their overall focus on water quality/quantity issues as well as student capacity.
Fall 2021 Projects:
Watershed Management Plan Phase II (2 semesters)
Camp Courageous Stormwater Quality and Detention Demonstration Site
Camp Courageous Sourcewater/Well Head Protection-Best Practices
Camp Courageous Cultural Education Center for Water Quality
Camp Courageous Multipurpose Trail System/Public Access to Demonstration Sites
Transportation & Watershed Planning