Lincoln, NE – April 5, 2018 – Loup Basin RCD announced today that it will receive $45,987 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the “Cedar River Corridor Project III”. The Trust Board announced funding for the project at its meeting on April 5, 2018 in Lincoln. This is the first year of award with a potential for 2nd year funding totaling $46,862. The project is one of the 105 projects receiving $18,301,819 in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust this year. Of these, 66 were new applications and 39 are carry-over projects.
The Cedar River Corridor Project III is a regional project covering more than 100 miles along Cedar River that runs through five counties and six communities (Figure 1). This project addresses the Environmental Trust’s priorities: Habitat and Surface and Groundwater. This is a follow up to the Cedar River Corridor Projects I and II that stabilized 32 streambanks from 2002- 2005 The streambanks were stabilized to reduce surface water degradation and sedimentation loading of the river system, improve the aquatic habitat through riparian buffers and increased vegetation, decrease the amount of sediment and chemicals entering the river and reverse the loss of prime cropland and rangeland. Very little post monitoring has been conducted to determine the success of the two previous projects. An extreme flow event occurred following the 2010 failure of Lake Ericson Dam (Figure 2), potentially causing many of the stabilized streambanks to fail. A study to evaluate the various treatment alternatives implemented, their success and function, and their cost-effectiveness would be important for future similar efforts, and could save thousands of dollars on future stabilization projects, in the Cedar and other Nebraska Rivers. This proposed project will evaluate the effectiveness of the 32 stabilized streambanks, installed in 2002-2005 on Cedar River, that were partially funded by the Environmental Trust. The primary goals are to: 1) quantify the stream bank erosion rates with and without stabilization prior to and after dam failure; 2) assess the current stability of streambanks with and without stabilization; and 3) quantify the cost effectiveness of the various practices used for streambank stabilization. This project will be a collaboration, between the Loup Basin RC&D (Outreach), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (technical assistance), Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (monetary assistance) and landowners in the watershed (transportation and accessibility to study sites). Funding from the NET and NDEQ will provide funds for field data collection and graduate student support.
The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $289 million in grants to over 2,000 projects across the state. Anyone – citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses – can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect and restore our natural resources for future generations.