Steamboat Rock Dam
a river restoration project
Prepared by Mimi Wagner
A public meeting was held in Steamboat Rock on November 19th, 2019 to present four mitigation alternatives for the dam. Following the formal presentation, meeting participants were invited to record their preferences and values related to the dam and the Iowa River in this area using a paper survey form that evening. Paper copies of the survey were also available in the Steamboat Rock Library for the two weeks following the public meeting.
Four alternatives for the future of the Steamboat Rock Dam were included in the study:
A total of 52 people completed the survey. Results indicate that the vast majority prefer the dam be removed and replaced with some form of structure. Only 12% of participants chose “No Action” as their first choice and 2% chose “Full Removal of the Dam”. The first choice of the remaining 73% were split between a set of “Rock Arch Rapids” at the site of the dam and “Partial to Full Removal of the Dam and construction of a series of features.”
Participants’ first choice among four alternatives are represented in this chart. Nearly all participants prefer removal of the dam. The majority would replace it with some form of structure, either a rock arch rapids at the site of the existing dam or a series of smaller riffles between the site of the existing dam and the Pine Ridge Park Campground.
Flooding reduction at Pine Ridge Park Campground was also strongly supported. When asked to choose between maintaining the current pool elevation and flooding reduction, only 10% of participants prioritize maintaining the current pool elevation over reducing flooding. The majority of participants (77%) chose flooding reduction for the Pine Ridge Campground over maintaining the current pool elevation.