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

2 Beaches with an E. coli Advisory:
Lower Pine Lake Beach (Eldora, Hardin County, IA)*
Prairie Rose Beach (Harlan, Shelby County, IA)*

2 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

Ver avisos en Español

2013 - 2023: A decade of declining water quality in Iowa

Last week, the Iowa Environmental Council (IEC) launched a new website, decliningdecade.org, to mark the tenth anniversary of the state’s taxpayer-funded nutrient reduction strategy (NRS). We created the site to counter the narrative being pushed by agricultural businesses and organizations that say progress on the NRS is going great and Iowa is taking appropriate action to address nutrient pollution. These groups were very involved in the crafting of the voluntary approach to fertilizer pollution in the NRS, and they are heavily invested in its status quo implementation.  

There are many examples of local initiatives and farmers that are doing the right things: putting conservation practices on the ground and sharing their stories with others to encourage further adoption.

However, focusing on individual stories alone – without shining light on the systemic failures of the voluntary approach and the continuous erosion of state leadership’s support for water quality – circumvents the conversation about policy solutions we need to make actual progress on nutrient pollution reduction.  

Until we are able to transform how we address fertilizer pollution through policy and regulation, the NRS will be no more than a cover for 'business-as-usual' conventional agriculture. We invite you to visit decliningdecade.org to view IEC publications, fact sheets, news stories, and blog posts, as well as external reports and articles, all in one place, to get a more complete picture of Iowa’s fertilizer pollution crisis.   

Polk Co. Water Resources Supervisor John Swanson talks conservation implementation during 2021 IEC legislator tour


DNR accepting comments on AFO rule changes

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is now accepting comments on proposed changes to rules regulating animal feeding operations (AFOs).

IEC petitioned for changes to rules governing karst, drinking water, and floodplains, then commented on an earlier draft of rule revisions.  

The DNR is proposing to adopt some of our recommendations, including more protection for karst terrain and floodplains. The draft rules also change the method for calculating manure allowed on farm fields. But the rules would delete existing provisions allowing DNR to stop risky facilities and would change the information submitted in manure application plans.  

IEC will send action alert in the coming week so you can submit your comments to DNR! 

IEC releases NNC infographics outlining timeline, purpose 

IEC has long advocated for the state to adopt numeric standards for nitrogen and phosphorus for Iowa’s lakes and reservoirs, also known as numeric nutrient criteria (NNC). However, the state has declined to adopt updated standards that would be better, more protective measures of water quality. 

Numeric standards provide objective and protective guidelines for assessing water quality. Current standards are narrative, which are not supported by sound scientific rationale and lead to subjective interpretation of what is "aesthetically objectionable." Numeric standards would allow the state to impose stronger protections for Iowa’s waterways. 

View the infographics: What are NNC? and the NNC Timeline.

Dyersville is 2023 River Town of the Year

The City of Dyersville is the 2023 recipient of the "River Town of the Year" award for their successful 'One Water' Watershed Vision Plan. 

The plan addresses flooding, water quality, and environmental remediation. Through the plan, Dyersville strives to reconnect people to the water for a healthier environment and happier city. The city has also cleaned up a toxic waste site and completed restoration projects on Bear Creek. 

"What's good for Dyersville is good for Dubuque County, and ultimately the whole state of Iowa," said Mayor Jeff Jacque.

Iowa Rivers Revival's annual River Town of the Year Award recognizes an Iowa community for outstanding efforts to reclaim river-fronts as anchors for economic development, recreation, and good ecological practices.

Watch the video to learn more.


What's new in Iowa's water news:

Upcoming water events:

• DNR Free Fishing Weekend - All Iowa - June 2 - 4
Free Fishing Weekend Activities - MyCountyParks.com - June 3 and 4
Critter Catch - Wickiup Hill Learning Center, Linn Co. - June 3
• Landscaping for Water Quality - Virtual - June 7
Creek Study and You - Wickiup Hill Learning Center, Linn Co. - June 8
• Great Iowa River Race - Johnson Co. - June 10
IEC's PRO H2O - Des Moines, Okoboji - June 15


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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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