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News Release: 10-3-2013
Receives National Award for Carter Lake Project
The Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) received a 2013 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation for the Carter Lake Water Improvement
Project. The association’s Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities. MAPA Executive Director, Greg Youell, received the award at the NADO
2013 AnnualTraining Conference in San Francisco, California, where
award winners were showcased.
Lake is a 315-acre oxbow lake that lies in the Iowa-Nebraska border, and accordingly is maintained by both states, with shoreline in the cities of Carter Lake, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska. The lake is highly productive but has historically exhibited poor water quality, high nutrient concentrations,
frequent algae blooms, and periodically high bacteria. Carter Lake
has a drainage area of 2,722 acres and relies on surface runoff for
water. The watershed consists of primarily urban residential and commercial properties.
Restoration of Carter Lake began in 2010 and included stabilizing thousands of
feet of shoreline, installing sediment forebays, dredging parts of
the lake, and enlarging a stormwater pond. These actions resulted in a healthy,
stabilized water environment with increased clarity. This is a significant and lasting impact in a well-used natural feature in the metropolitan area. The project is an example of creative and effective collaboration between public agencies. Two states and numerous organizations participated
in the project, helping to leverage investments in order to turn the
lake back into an effective natural resource for the metropolitan
“For many years officials and citizens
desired to restore Carter Lake, but ran into obstacles because of its geographic
and political situation. As a regional agency, MAPA was uniquely positioned to assist with funding from several agencies in two states. We are proud of the work that has been accomplished in restoring one of the metro area’s gems and believe that the project has been
a win-win for everyone involved,” Youell stated. Lynn Dittmer,
Community and Economic Development Manager, led MAPA’s efforts
in coordinating and administering the bi-state project.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) was asked to participate in the project as a regional planning partner, primarily as the project’s fiscal agent. Contracts were received by MAPA as an eligible funding recipient in both Iowa and Nebraska, and were then paid out to a contractor
working in both states. MAPA was positioned to access funding from
all partners and remove regulatory and legislative hurdles governing
the use of funds for this project. Agencies participating in the Carter
Lake Restoration project include the Iowa Department of Natural Resources,
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Nebraska Environmental Trust, Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District, and the City of Carter Lake. In total, more than $5.3 million has been secured and utilized for engineering
and construction activities to restore the lake’s environmental
NADO is a Washington, DC-based association
that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments,
communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies. The association’s Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and partnering organizations for improving the economic and community
competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities.
Over 650 development professionals and elected officials attended
NADO’s 2013 Annual Training Conference, held August 24 - 27 in San Francisco, California.
|Omaha World Herald, Mike Kelly, January 24, 2008
|Omaha World Herald, December 27, 2007
|Omaha World Herald 10-12-07
|September 16, 2007 Omaha World Herald
|Iowa Outdoors Magazine July-Aug 2007
Carter Lake Community Day Parade on June 24,2006
Channel 42 and Channel 7 covered the rainy day parade. Both the
Omaha World Herald and Council Bluffs Nonpareil had articles and pictures about the parade and boat floats on Sunday, June
25, 2006. The newspaper articles are scanned in below: