The state has approved a four-part effort to improve the water quality of the Maquoketa River watershed. Department of Natural Resources spokesman Ubbo Agena says the real goal of the project is to improve the Mississippi River.The Maquoketa River has been identified as a major source of sediment and nutrients flowing into the Mississippi. Agena says two parts of the project will focus directly on keeping the wrong stuff from flowing into the river.He says Iowa State University’s Extension Department will handle the other two projects, which he says will involve educating the residents on water quality issues. Agena says the residents of the area were the ones who pushed to get the project going.The Environmental Protection Commission has approved 666-thousand dollars for the four projects. Agena says private landowners and government entities in the area will also put in money. He says the projects will take a minimum of three years to complete.