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There are 2 beach advisories for the week of 6/16

2 Beaches with an E. coli Advisory: Lower Pine Lake Beach (Eldora, Hardin County, IA)* McIntosh Woods Beach (Clear Lake, Ventura, Cerro Gordo County, IA)*

3 City and County Beaches exceed the state’s advisory threshold for E. coli.* View the map on our website to see where they are.

*Data from the Iowa DNR State Park Beach Monitoring Program **Data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District

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Feedlot Rule Update - Round 2 of Many

For thousands of years, humans have benefitted from the natural cycle of fertilizing crops with manure from their cow, goat, or other animals they raised. Today, however, we raise thousands of animals in a single operation, and makes for a lot of manure when you add up the thousands of operations spread across Iowa. When land-applied at this scale, it's not surprising to learn that that manure can run off or enter tile drains to reach creeks, rivers, and streams.

Strong rules and enforcement are the only protection we have from drinking and recreational waters polluted with fecal coliform, nitrate, and other contaminants. Despite the existing rules, we have hundreds of streams and many lakes, as well as private wells, teeming with high levels of fecal coliform and other pollutants. 

IEC has pushed DNR to protect from manure pollution for years, including protections for karst and drinking waterfloodplains, and sensitive terrain in Northeast Iowa. We know that this pollution has serious consequences: the health effects of nitrate in drinking water include birth defects and cancer. Those risks are growing because of the rising nitrate concentrations in private wells and surface water.  

Iowa DNR is in the process of updating the rules defining how manure is stored at animal feeding operations, or AFOs, and then applied on the landscape. This AFO rulemaking is a chance for DNR to protect Iowans while saving them money, but we need stronger rules to make that happen. The draft rules have some changes, but not enough – and the process is more complicated thanks to an executive order. 


Take Action: It's the last day to submit comments on AFO rules

The Iowa DNR has issued a new draft of proposed animal feeding operation (AFO) siting and manure management rules. Following IEC’s petitions for rulemaking in 2021 and 2022, we are now asking for our requested rule changes to be incorporated into the new draft rules.  

We are calling on DNR to institute more protective separation distance in porous karst terrain, maintain departmental discretion for facilities those pose imminent threats to water quality, and adopt a floodplain map to clearly restrict new construction in floodprone areas.  

Take action now by sending a message to DNR, asking the department to strengthen protections for Iowa’s waters no later than 4:30 PM TODAY, Friday, June 16. 

Get outdoors to explore and discover water this Juneteenth

Outdoor Afro, a nationwide nonprofit that celebrates and inspires Black connections,  leadership, and activities in nature, is marking Juneteenth 2023 as 'Freedom to Access Water.' They encourage people to discover and enjoy a local waterway for at least two and a half hours to reflect and honor the two and half years that freedom was delayed for the enslaved people of Galveston, TX.

Another way to mark the day is to attend a local event. IEC is proud to sponsor Central Iowa's Juneteenth events, including  Neighbor's Day at Western Gateway park on Saturday, June 17. See the list of Juneteenth events happening in Des Moines, or take a look at other Juneteenth activities around the state

Illustration courtesy of Outdoor Afro

River Days of Action and Giving runs through June 18 

IEC is proud to be a part of the Mississippi River Network's River Days of Action taking place June 8 -18. 

The Mississippi River, and the tributaries that flow into it as part of the watershed, give us all so much, including drinking water for 20 million people, home for 800 species of fish and wildlife, recreational and economic opportunities, and so much more. 

You can help in two ways. First, support IEC as a River Giver (help us meet our $3k match!) or give to the Mississippi River Network and all participating organizations. Second, ask Iowa senators and your congressional representative to support and increase funding for Farm Bill conservation programs that protect our land and water. Send a message by completing the action alert: bit.ly/actnowrda23


What's new in Iowa's water news:

• Hazardous chemicals threaten Des Moines’ water (Axios) 
• Water entry not advised at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area due to bacteria level (City of Iowa City) 
• Got Clean Water? Demand Better Farm Policies (Izaak Walton League of America) 
Editorial: It’s still dead (Storm Lake Times Pilot) 
Flash droughts are becoming a bigger threat to crops, water supply, shipping, research says (Iowa Public Radio)

Upcoming water events:

• Canoeing with the Voyageurs - Clinton Co. - June 16-17 
• Cedar River Paddle – Floyd County Conservation, Floyd Co. - June 17 
• Pond Study – Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, Woodbury Co. - June 17 
• Sandbar Hopping Canoe/Kayak Float - Walnut Grove Park, Clinton Co. – June 17 
• Rock Valley Father’s Day Special Pancakes and PanFishing 2023 - Oak Grove & Big Sioux Park, Sioux Co – June 17 
• Nature Connection and Community: A Mindful Experience for River Days of Action – Virtual – June 17 
• Kayak Safety Basics – Pinicon Lake, Linn Co. - June 20 
• WOMEN. WOODS. WINE.: Bowfishing – Oakland Mills Nature Center, Henry Co. - June 20 
• Summertime Fishing & Fun – Gabrielson Park, Gustafson Lake, Buena Vista Co. - June 20
•  Sunset Eco Cruise – Rock Creek Marina & Campground - June 22 


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Iowa Environmental Council
505 Fifth Ave., Suite 850 
 Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2317
515-244-1194 | iecmail@iaenvironment.org

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