Many people talk about improving water quality in Iowa — and, by extension, shrinking the "Dead Zone" in the Gulf of Mexico — but Larry Weber is doing something about it.
Weber is the director of the Iowa Flood Center based at the University of Iowa who earlier this year helped win a $96 million public-private grant to implement "a mosaic of practices" that will help cleanse water in eight Iowa watersheds.
Weber was one of about 25 speakers Thursday at the ninth annual Upper Mississippi River Conference being held at the iWireless Center, Moline.
Presented by River Action Inc., Davenport, and sponsored by more than 20 businesses and organizations, the theme of this year's two-day event is to "raise the grade" of the Mississippi River.
It refers to a "report card" issued a year ago by America's Watershed Initiative that evaluated the river in six key areas — economy, flood risk reduction, transportation, ecosystem health and recreation — and gave it a "D."