If you live near Lime Creek, maybe you've noticed a return of some old friends to the water. Mussels are back in healthy numbers, showing a healthy watershed thanks in part to the efforts of local farmers. Each farm approaches water quality differently, but their efforts are having a visible impact. From riparian buffers to restored wetlands, these farmers are doing their part to protect Iowa's waterways.


Iowa Minute Transcript

Laurie Johns: Whether we live in town or on the farm, everything we do impacts the watershed. Washing our cars in the driveway, fertilizing our lawns in the spring...and if everyone remembers that, our watershed will benefit all the people and wildlife that depend on it.

Lime Creek is a perfect example. Thanks to farmers, the mussels came back. And aquatic biologists say that's a very good thing.     

Jen Kurth, Aquatic Biologist, Iowa Department of Natural Resources: I like to call them mother nature's water filtration system. An adult mussel can filter between 10 and 15 gallons of waters a day. They really help to keep our rivers and lakes and streams healthy.

Laurie Johns: Farmers in the area embraced the challenge to improve their watershed. They learned each of their fields is different, so they're always looking to do more.

Dick Sloan, Lime Creek area farmer: I've added buffers along a ditch that we had...I still feel like there are areas in my farm where I was like "You know I still might need a wetland here."

Laurie Johns: To learn about wetlands and other practices, check out ConservationCountsIowa.com.