A University of Nebraska–Lincoln project to provide educational materials about the Niobrara River has received a $27,637 grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust.
Thousands of tourists travel to the Niobrara River each summer for recreational activities ranging from camping to hunting to fishing to leisurely floating down the river. The river also cuts through portions of rangeland and row crop agriculture, land uses that support an important proportion of the Nebraska economy. Finally, the river hosts plant and animal communities from both the eastern and western forests of the United States.
For these reasons and others, the Niobrara River is designated a National Scenic River.
“To understand the ecology of the Niobrara River and how well it is being managed, we have been studying the organisms that live in the waters and the water quality within its reaches since 2019,” said Jessica Corman, assistant professor of natural resources and project lead. “With funding from the Nebraska Environmental Trust, we will create and provide new, engaging artwork and pamphlets to educate visitors about the Niobrara River and the exciting discoveries that we have made. These materials will help inform and teach the public about Nebraska’s most precious waterway and foster continued best management practices in the region.”
This is the first year of the award, with potential for second-year funding.
The project is one of 23 Husker projects receiving more than $2.1 million from NET this year. In total, NET awarded 113 grants totaling more than $18 million in 2021.
The Nebraska Legislature created the NET in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the trust has provided more than $349 million in grants to more than 2,400 projects across the state. Anyone — citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses — can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The NET works to preserve, protect and restore the state’s natural resources for future generations.