ECICOG was recognized by the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for its work with the Iowa Watershed Approach over the past 6 years. That work began in 2016, after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced grants as part of the National Disaster Resilience Competition.
Iowa was awarded $97 million to implement the Iowa Watershed Approach for Urban and Rural Resilience, $21 million of which was allocated for three watersheds in the ECICOG region. Each watershed partnered with a county to serve as the fiscal agent, with Benton County awarded $11 million for the Middle Cedar Watershed, Iowa County awarded $5.5 million for the English River Watershed, and Johnson County awarded $4.4 million for the Clear Creek Watershed. ECICOG managed the CDBG grant requirements for all three counties.
In total, 538 practices, such as ponds, grassed waterways, wetlands, and floodplain restorations were constructed to hold back runoff. These practices provide storage of water equivalent to about 440 Olympic-size swimming pools.