Aerial view of an oxbow restorationNew research shows that “multi-purpose oxbows” can effectively reduce nitrate-nitrogen, earning them a spot in the Iowa Nutrient Research Strategy’s menu of conservation options.

“We’ve learned that oxbows provide more than habitat, important as that is,” said Keith Schilling, State Geologist and Director of the Iowa Geological Survey, lead researcher on several studies documenting restored oxbows’ potential to reduce nitrate by 35 to 54 percent, levels comparable to other edge-of-field conservation practices recommended for nitrate reduction.

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