The Iowa Watershed Approach
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What is oxbow restoration?
Oxbow features are remnant meanders of rivers and creeks, cut off of the main channel either by erosive forces or human alteration. When these features are restored and reconnected to the watercourse as a meander, they provide habitat for fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians that prefer slow-moving water, provide flood storage capacity, reduce sediment load and can reduce nitrate load by 56%. Restorations are low cost, often costing less than $10,000, and land retirement is typically not required because they are often found in marginal, silted-in areas.
Benning, Jamie; Craft, Kristina; and University of Iowa IIHR–Hydroscience & Engineering, "Oxbow Restoration" (2018). Extension and Outreach Publications. 438.
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