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There are 5 beach advisories for the week of 6/9

5 Beaches with an E. coli Advisory: Beed’s Lake Beach (Hampton, Franklin County, IA)* Lower Pine Lake Beach (Eldora, Hardin County, IA)* McIntosh Woods Beach (Clear Lake, Ventura, Cerro Gordo County, IA)* Prairie Rose Beach (Harlan, Shelby County, IA)* Union Grove Beach (Gladbrook, Tama 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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Meet Our 2023 Pro H2O Award Winners

Next Thursday, June 15, is IEC's 10th Annual Pro H2O celebration, raising awareness about water quality issues affecting our recreational and drinking water and honoring Iowans doing important and inspiring work that improves our waterways and creates a safe, healthy environment and a sustainable future for all Iowans. This year, we're recognizing seven individuals, organizations, and businesses for their efforts. Read on to learn more about their work or visit our website for the full story, then join us next week to celebrate these advocates in person!

Community Impact: Partners of Scott County Watersheds
"Partners of Scott County Watersheds is a nonprofit that works in Scott County, IA to improve the health and stewardship of local watersheds through education, technical guidance, and volunteer opportunities. PSCW is the only organization regularly monitoring water quality and providing water quality education in Scott County and the surrounding areas; PSCW also has one of the longest-running water quality databases in Iowa with over 20 years of water quality information available to the public. 

Young Adult Leadership: Brittany Costello, Miss Scott County
"When it came to developing my community service initiative, I knew I wanted it to be something along the lines of protecting the planet. I started researching ways Iowa impacts our oceans, and discovered a multitude of water quality issues not only in Iowa, but in our nation and in the world. And then BAM! “Watersheds: Think Global, Act Local” was born. I dedicate every single day towards furthering my initiative, expanding my knowledge, reaching more people, and finding ways to bring national attention to the water quality crisis. Adequate water quality is a human right, and it is our duty to protect it for generations to come."

Youth Education Program: Iowa Children's Water Festival
The Iowa Children's Water Festival is a free educational event that has been providing fifth-grade students the opportunity to learn about the importance of water in their daily lives for 27 years. Through presentations, hands-on activities, exhibits, games, and entertainment, students learn about a multitude of water related topics to include surface and ground waters; the water cycle; wetlands, watersheds; point and non-point pollution sources; wastewater treatment; and many more. Since its founding, nearly 50,000 young Iowans have been educated about water through this program!

Business Innovation: West O Beer
"Clean water is what we stand for, it’s our Mission. We started home-brewing and after five years started a business plan for a brewery in Okoboji. We opened in 2013. We chose the lot that we built our brewery on because of it’s water source: West Okoboji Lake. Not only is the water naturally soft and perfect for brewing beer, it’s also the most important resource we have in the Iowa Great Lakes region. Our water is so important that we donate a portion of our proceeds to help preserve and protect the natural resources of the Iowa Great Lakes region."

Impact Through Advocacy: Keenan Crow, One Iowa
"I’m the Director of Policy and Advocacy at One Iowa, which is a statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization. What I’m primarily known for, however, is my work as the staff lobbyist for One Iowa. I go to work every day knowing that what I’m advocating for is the most beneficial outcome; not just for LGBTQ Iowans but for Iowans in general. State legislatures are actually the most important bodies to focus on when it comes to LGBTQ rights (since there are no federal anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people). The state legislature can have a huge impact on the rights you are afforded."

Lifetime Achievement: Susan Judkins
With a long career in politics, Susan has worked tirelessly to bring common sense regarding Iowa's water quality to legislators and to the communities in which she serves. First with the Iowa League of Cities, then continuing at Rebuild Iowa in disaster recovery, and most recently as a council person for the City of Clive, Susan has been tenacious in Promoting the planning of and design of responsible stormwater, other infrastructure, and watershed projects in addition to her work with RDG Planning and Design.

Lifetime Achievement: Robin Fortney
"I began to notice Iowa rivers when I got my first canoe in 1993. When I learned about IOWATER, a volunteer water quality monitoring program originally led by Iowa DNR staff, I signed up for training. I attended an event called Iowa Rivers Revival. The hope was that a group of people who know and care about the values and concerns around Iowa rivers would become a voice for them. I volunteered to serve on the steering committee. I had paddled and seen enough of Iowa’s rivers to want to be one of those voices. Everything we can do to bring an awareness of rivers, river values, and concerns about rivers to the public is good for Iowa. We must connect new generations of Iowans to rivers to help them understand the importance of healthy rivers and their relationship to water. People do care about rivers and want to be involved in the betterment of them."

Brittany Costello

Keenan Crow, One Iowa

Susan Judkins

Robin Fortney


DNR now accepting comments on proposed 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.  

You can take action by sending a message to DNR, asking the department to strengthen protections for Iowa’s waters no later than 4:30 PM on Friday, June 16. IEC will post and share our full comment letter next week.  

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

Explore Iowa State Parks this summer and win!

The Iowa State Park Passport is back for 2023 with new ways to earn points for exciting prizes you'll love. 

Whether you're a regular park goer, or need a reason to make a trip, the mobile-exclusive Park Passport will help you find hidden gems in the state park system this year. 

Collect points through October 31 by checking into more than 60 state parks and forests, each with a unique point value. Earn points to win prizes!

You can get started this weekend with special activities in the Kick Off Summer event in Iowa state parks & forests. Dozens of sites around the state will offer activities for the family, like hikes, educational programs, movie nights, kayaking, and more. 

Pictured: Backbone State Park


What's new in Iowa's water news:

Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' predicted to be twice the size of national goal. Again. (Star Tribune) 
• Feds propose drainage rules to protect wetlands in Iowa and nearby states (Successful Farming) 
Majority of new CAFOs were built in Iowa last year (Investigate Midwest) 
Manure-laced water flows into creek after grassed waterway was removed (Iowa Capital Dispatch) 
The Exchange: Alicia Vasto with IEC about why Iowa's nutrient reduction program isn't accomplishing its goals at 20:15 (Siouxland Public Media)

Upcoming water events:

Sandy Hollow Family Fishing Clinic 2023 – Sioux City – June 10 
Women in the Wilderness – Fishing Clinic & Fish Fry – Decatur Co. – June 10 
Youth Marsh Paddle – Jackson Co. – June 10 
Great Iowa River Race 2023 – Johnson Co. - June 10
Spring Lake Youth Fishing Derby – Spring Lake Park – June 11
Reckoning with the Environmental Movement's Past for a More Equitable Future – Virtual – June 12 
Thinking Like a Watershed: Climate Land Leaders in Name and Deed – Virtual – June 13
Salt Watch Season 6 Wrap-Up – Virtual – June 15 
Citizen Science Needs on the Mississippi River – Virtual – June 15 
IEC's PRO H2O – Des Moines, Okoboji – June 15
Nature Connection and Community: A Mindful Experience for River Days of Action – Virtual – June 17


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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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