Here in the Red River Valley, channelization of streams, or the digging of ditches, has allowed agriculture to expand over the past 100 plus years. Much of the land in the valley, especially in the lowest, flattest part of the basin, was wetland or wet meadows. Draining the water off of the land made it plowable, and productive and changed.
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” (John Muir, an American Environmentalist). And so it is with rivers, ditches and wetlands. Our desire to remove water from the land has increased the magnitude and occurrence of flooding in the Red River Valley. The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy has put together an 8 minute video titled: Slowing Red River Flooding that explores how restoring channelized streams to meandering streams can increase wildlife habitat, improve water quality and reduce the impacts of floods.
You can find this video and other information on the Red River Watershed Management Board (RRWMB) website.March 13 and 14th the RRWMB and the Red River Basin Flood Damage Reduction Work Group will hold their joint annual conference at the Courtyard by Marriott & Conference Center in Moorhead. Go to the website for more info or email firstname.lastname@example.org .