US Army Corps of Engineers
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Sustainable Rivers

Iowa River, Iowa - Environmental actions generate other benefits for Iowans

USACE Rock Island District is looking at new options for operating its oldest dam in Iowa. Initial findings are that many of the environmental flow opportunities that SRP is helping to identify also provide benefits for farms and recreation.

map of Coralville Lake including the Coralville Boundary

Coralville Lake - A map of Coralville Lake, the reservoir created by USACE’s Coralville Dam. The white polygon shows the boundary of the Coralville Lake Project. Coralville Dam is located near the southernmost point of the polygon.
Image of Iowa City taken at night.

Iowa City - The Iowa River is a focal point for Iowa City. Hancher Auditorium is picturesquely situated directly on the river (photo by Mary Sue Bowers, USACE).
Image of the Coralville Lake at sunset.

Sunset on Coralville Lake - The Sustainable Rivers Program has helped USACE’s Rock Island District convene partners to develop environmental flow releases from Coralville Dam (USACE photo).

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Completed in 1958, Coralville Dam is the oldest USACE dam in Iowa. Coralville is operated to manage flood risk at Coralville and Iowa City and to provide a minimum flow of water for fish and wildlife habitat.

The Iowa River hosts a rich diversity of mussels. Unsung heroes of freshwater, mussels are important indicators of aquatic health. As filter feeders, mussels remove algae and nutrients from the water column. However, they can’t survive in rivers with high sediment loads and pollutants. Dams also pose a problem to mussels because they disrupt fish migrations. Mussels move upstream and downstream in river systems by attaching to fish and traveling with those hosts to new habitats during their larval life stage.   Read More

  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • University of Iowa
  • City of Coralville
  • City of Iowa City
  • Iowa Corngrowers Association
  • Iowa Soybean Association
  • American Rivers
  • Bur Oak Land Trust
  • Friends of Coralville Lake
  • Iowa Rivers Revival
  • Conservation Boards and Soil & Water Conservation Districts for Johnson, Washington and Louisa Counties
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