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Shell Creek Watershed

Welcome to the Shell Creek Watershed Website! The site was designed to provide a resource to people interested in the Shell Creek Watershed. Our mission is to provide data to interested persons and area agencies, so that wise decisions and policies can be implemented to improve the water quality.

"Newman Grove is a small rural community in northeast Nebraska located along the banks of Shell Creek. Shell Creek's watershed drains more than 121, 500 hectares (ha) in parts of four counties. The watershed is primarily an agricultural area that includes steep-sloped pastures, rolling pivot-irrigated hills, and gravity-irrigated flood plains.

Repeated flooding throughout the 1990s prompted a group of area land-owners and farmers to ask the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Lower Platte North Natural Resource District (LPNNRD) for assistance. These government organizations are responsible for setting regulatory policies for the watershed. With the assistance of these organizations, the locally led Shell Creek Watershed Improvement Group (SCWIG) was formed in 1999 to identify and promote needed conservation practices within the watershed. In 2000, SCWIG requested assistance from a community organization, the PrarrieLand RC&D, to help acquire funding. PrarrieLand RC&D was awarded the first grant in 2001 from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) for watershed education.   

In 2002 SCWIG turned to the Newman Grove Public School's science department to help educate the public on water quality in the watershed and to establish a monitoring system that would be used to improve surface and groundwater quality in the creek's watershed." (Seier and Goedeken 2005)

The Newman Grove Field Study and Ecology class studies the water quality of the Shell Creek. Mr. Mark Seier and a group of interested students began the program five years ago. A total of five sites are tested two days a month from May through August. The chemical tests are based on the WQI, Water Quality Index System, developed by the National Sanitation Federation. Macroinvertabrates are studied allowing us to obtain a more complete survey of the Shell Creek. A macroinvertebrate count is made giving a water quality rating based on a formula developed by the Nebraska Wildlife Federation Adopt-a-Stream program.

 

For more information, contact Mark Seier at maseier@esu8.org.

Webpage designed by Laura Johnson.