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There are 12 beach advisories for the week of 7/15

10 Beaches with an E. coli-related Advisory:
Backbone Beach (Dundee, Delaware County, IA)*
Beed’s Lake Beach (Hampton, Franklin County, IA)*
Big Creek Beach (Polk City, Polk County, IA)*

Black Hawk Beach (Lake View, Sac County, IA)*
Emerson Bay Beach (Milford, Dickinson County, IA)*
George Wyth Beach (Waterloo, Black Hawk County, IA)*

Lake Darling Beach (Brighton, Washington County, IA)*
Lower Pine Lake Beach (Eldora, Hardin County, IA)*
Prairie Rose Beach (Harlan, Shelby County, IA)*
West Overlook Beach 
(Coralville Lake, Coralville, Johnson County, IA)**


2 Beaches with a Microcystin-related Advisory:
Geode Beach (Danville, Des Moines County, IA)*
Green Valley Beach (Creston, Union County, IA)*

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


1 Beach Closure

Lake of Three Fires is temporarily closed for swimming.
A Missouri resident who swam in Lake of Three Fires has a confirmed infection from Naegleria fowleri, commonly known as the "brain-eating amoeba." There is no new information to share at this time other than the beach has been sampled and the samples have been sent to the CDC laboratory. The beach will remain closed pending test results.


The Value of Getting Local 

This week we share a guest article from Storm Lake Times journalist Tom Cullen. He attended IEC's Storm Lake Lakeshore Party on Saturday, July 9 and shares his observations of the event, noting the importance the lake has to the economy in the town.

The Iowa Environmental Council’s lakeshore party last Saturday was the first outreach event in which a statewide advocacy organization visited Storm Lake in-person.  

A crowd of around 25 gathered at Sunrise Park to enjoy bocce and giant Jenga for the benefit of IEC’s Iowa Water Watch, a monthly informational on water issues happening across the state.  

The outcome was expected 

Staff made a handful of contacts with community leaders. Research scientists at Buena Vista University made themselves available to IEC for information about lake and watershed health.  

The kids that were there liked the novelty Jenga. The Frisbees were tough to throw. Turnout was modest, a common occurrence for an introductory event. The event is the first public gathering a statewide advocacy organization has held in Storm Lake in recent memory.  

People in Storm Lake aren’t familiar with the council  

Water Program Director Ingrid Gronstal intends to change that. Gronstal, a native of Carroll, understands rural Western Iowa can seem disengaged from statewide advocacy organizations.  

The first event is the olive branch in more outreach to Storm Lake and other communities that rely on natural resources as economic engines. King’s Pointe Resort isn’t viable without a healthy Storm Lake. The fledgling Storm Lake Marina under the management of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources isn’t viable without a healthy Storm Lake.  

Storm Lake is a hub of eco-tourism. So are the Iowa Great Lakes, Clear Lake and Lake View, home to Black Hawk Lake. Gronstal believes IEC can be an essential part of those communities by way of their natural resources. Clean water is a closely monitored issue at the state level. The issue has a history of spurring change from the federal government to the statehouse. See Storm Lake’s decade-long dredging operation.  

In an interview after the event, Gronstal pointed to a host of communities voicing concern over algal blooms last summer. Last year Storm Lake suffered its worst algae bloom since dredging started in 2002. Lakewatchers expressed alarm. They wondered what caused the issue. 

Algal blooms were a frequent topic on IEC’s Water Watch. Gronstal said the organization will continue to focus on it.  

An anonymous, generous donor has challenged IEC to come up with $25,000 in fundraising to support the important work of our Water Program. Once we raise that amount, each gift will be matched dollar for dollar!

Will you make a gift today and help us meet this match? Support work like our Weekly Water Watch emails, beach advisory tracking, advocating to improve Iowa's water quality and land stewardship, and more. Learn more at www.iaenvironment.org/our-work/clean-water-and-land-stewardship.


Getting on the water to develop leadership in marginalized communities

Iowa Rivers Revival (IRR) and the American Canoe Association (ACA) are partnering on the ACA Leadership Exploration and Development Initiative (LEAD), opportunity for historically marginalized individuals to develop community leadership through paddlesports. 

The initiative will be an all expenses paid, four-day training August 15 - August 18. The training includes ACA's 'Level 1: Introduction to Paddling' course and their signature justice, equity, and inclusion program.

There are 12 spots available. Each participant must identify as a racial minority and be 18 years of age or older to qualify for the program. The application deadline is Sunday, July 31. Apply today to be part of the program

Clean Water Act Section 401 rule open for public comment

Earlier this month, EPA published a proposed rule about Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. The public comment period is open until August 8. 

Section 401 of the Clean Water Act creates a state-tribal-federal partnership, giving individual states and Tribes the ability to review the impacts of federally licensed projects  like oil pipelines on waterways and wetlands within their borders. 

The Clean Water For All coalition will be circulating  resources in advance of EPA’s July 18 hearing on the proposed rule which is open to the public. EPA also is taking written comments through August 8.


Share Your Summer with IEC on Instagram

Follow us at @iowawaterwatch

Check out Iowa Water Watch on Instagram and give us a follow. Tag us on your photos using @iowawaterwatch and the #iowawaterwatch hashtag, so we can feature your photos throughout the summer with other readers.

Photo by @lindylinks

Photo by @hamon_itup


Make Plans to Support IEC and Partners on August 3

Close to 30 environmental and conservation non-profits in Iowa will participate in the second annual Iowa Gives Green on August 3, a day of giving for organizations and causes focused on improving and protecting Iowa's environment. Iowans donated more than $25,000 to participating groups in 2021. Visit iowagivesgreen.org to see the full list of coalition partners and make your plans to give generously!


What's New in Iowa's Water News

Nitrate water levels threaten health (Bleeding Heartland)

Upcoming Water Events

• Des Moines River Paddle - Austin Park, Keosauqua - July 16
Water Exploration - Scharnberg Park, Clay Co. - July 17
Kayaking Beginners Class - Kennedy Memorial Park, Webster Co. - July 17
Wapsi Wanderers - Buchanan County Conservation Offices, Buchanan Co. - July 18
• Upcoming Public Hearing on Proposed CWA Section 401 Water Quality Certification Improvement Rule - Online - July 18
Youth Fishing Program - Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, Woodbury Co. - July 19
Summertime Fishing & Fun - South Cove Park, Buena Vista Co. - July 19
Nature Playdate - Stream Walk - Thomas Mitchell Park , Polk Co. - July 20
Outdoor Skills Series: Intro to Fly Fishing 1 - Johnson County Education Programs, Johnson Co. - July 21
Sunset Eco Cruise - Rock Creek Marina & Campground, Clinton Co. - July 21
Yaks and Brews - Buchanan County Conservation Offices, Buchanan Co. - July 22


Follow Us

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

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