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There are 14 beach advisories for the week of 7/21

9 Beaches with an E. coli Advisory: Backbone Beach (Dundee, Delaware County, IA)* Beed’s Lake Beach (Hampton, Franklin County, IA)* Black Hawk Beach (Lake View, Sac County, IA)* Emerson Bay Beach (West Okoboji Lake, Milford, Dickinson County, IA)* Lake Keomah Beach (Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, IA)* McIntosh Woods Beach (Clear Lake, Ventura, Cerro Gordo County, IA)* Nine Eagles Beach (Davis City, Decatur County, IA)* North Overlook Beach (Lake Red Rock, Pella, Marion County, IA)** Whitebreast Beach (Lake Red Rock, Pella, Marion County, IA)**

1 Beach with a Microcystin Advisory: Brushy Creek Beach (Lehigh, Webster County, IA)*

2 Beaches with E. coli and Microcystin Advisories: Lake Darling Beach (Brighton, Washington County, IA)* Lower Pine Lake Beach (Eldora, Hardin County, IA)*

4 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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IRR Service Squad: Perspectives on Iowa's rivers

Iowa Rivers Revival re-launched their Service Squad initiative to help plan and support river cleanups across Iowa. In this guest blog post, IRR's three AmeriCorps members share their summer experiences. 

Katie Bowden - My experience working with the Iowa Rivers Revival Service Squad has been eye-opening to the condition of our streams and creeks here in Iowa - a creek that appears to be in good shape could be coated in plastic bags on the bottom. While physical pollution like trash is a big part of water quality issues, it is not the only problem plaguing our waterways. We have done water quality monitoring and chemical testing training; it was quite an informative experience to do the hands-on work for tracking pollutants like phosphate, nitrates, and chloride in the water.

We also completed the Save Our Streams water monitor certification program from the Izaak Walton League of America, a protocol that taught us how to identify benthic macroinvertebrates that live in the water. This learning experience has given me a newfound appreciation for even the smallest bugs, as they can provide insight on the quality and health of a stream. 

Ava Hohn - After my service term with Iowa Rivers Revival, I will never look at Iowa’s land or waterways the same way again. Working under Polk County Conservation super volunteers Mike Schaffer and Karen Stiles, we learned how to best plan and execute land and water-based clean-ups. Since then, I simply cannot leave home without a bucket, grabber, and trash bag in my trunk for when I see trash off the clock – not if

This program has made me more cognizant of the small actions happening around us that are visibly and invisibly impairing Iowa waterways. We know the most significant player invisibly impairing Iowa waterways is the agricultural industry. Unlike the detrimental runoff from agriculture, with our cleanup work, we can see firsthand how trash goes from being thrown out a car window to in the river or creek across the way.

Amelia Whitener - Working with Iowa Rivers Revival this summer has been a deeply enriching experience; I’ve been able to work with and learn from professionals in the field and help make a difference in the water quality locally. Even though we were picking up after other people’s messes, I was still amazed by the beauty of Iowa’s rivers and excited to start my summer term working to keep the rivers beautiful.  

During our cleanups, we’ve faced many moments where it feels like nothing will ever be fully cleaned, and it's as though the bits of styrofoam and plastic mock us. These little items have the power to be incredibly damaging to both the ecosystems and the water quality. The majority of Iowa’s rivers and streams lead to the Gulf of Mexico and impact the water quality downstream, ultimately leading to the dead zone. Kids, like I once was, deserve to play in clean, safe water. I’m proud to be a part of a team that cares so much about Iowa’s rivers and keeping them clean for people to enjoy in Iowa and beyond.  

Katie (L), Eva (M), and Amelia (R)

Yeader Creek Clean Up

The haul from Yeader Creek!


Iowa Gives Green: Donate on Wednesday, August 2

As Iowans, we understand the importance of coming together to solve problems, show support, and help one another. That's why IEC and several partner organizations created Iowa Gives Green, a day where environmental organizations across the spectrum and Iowans across the state come together to support our beautiful and special home.

When you give on Iowa Gives Green, you can choose to donate to Iowa organizations working on water quality, such as Iowa Rivers Revival, Iowa Coldwater Conservancy, Living Lands & Waters, Prairie Rivers of Iowa, River Action, Wings2Water, and IEC!

IEC has a matching gift challenge of up to $5,000, from generous long-time supporter Jennifer Garst. Help us reach our Iowa Gives Green goal - donate today or make your gift on Wednesday, August 2, and support the work of Weekly Water Watch!

Okoboji Blue Water Festival: August 12 

The Okoboji Blue Water Festival was founded in 2016 as a venue to promote clean water and other natural resources advocacy in the Iowa Great Lakes. The festival has grown exponentially each year and it is now regarded as the premier water quality event in Iowa.

In addition to all the fun, the Okoboji Blue Water Festival is also an educational event on water quality. There will be a Clean Water Panel featuring some of Iowa's top clean water experts discussing water quality issues and solutions in Iowa and beyond. Please join them from 10:45am to 12:15pm at Preservation Plaza located on the shores of West Okoboji Lake.

IEC will also be on-site with other environmental non-profits with information on water quality, and activities for visitors. Stop by to say hello!

Click here for the full schedule of events.


Beach Bash 2023: George Wyth State Park Beach, Waterloo

Thanks to everyone that joined us at George Wyth State Park for Beach Bash last Saturday! It was a great day for beach games, swimming, and ice cream. We hope to see you at next year's Beach Bash!


What's new in Iowa's water news:

‘Forever chemicals’ found in deep wells in areas with porous bedrock (Iowa Capital Dispatch)
Clean Water Connection: IEC's Alicia Vasto discusses the Iowa Water Watch program (Explore Okoboji)
• Year after girl drowns on Cedar River, family and first responders talk about water safety (The Gazette)
Storm Lake says water restrictions now mandatory (Storm Lake Times Pilot)
Hinson: Legislation would continue protection of Driftless Area (Telegraph Herald)
• Opinion: The Iowa I reveled in on the first RAGBRI in 1973 is long gone (The Des Moines Register)
• Nature’s Alarm: Exploring Iowa’s endangered and threatened wildlife (The Gazette)

Upcoming water events:

Riverfront Refresh Cleanup Scott Co. - July 21
Stand Up Paddle Board Demonstration - Cass Co. - July 22
Millers Bay Ecotourism Day - Dickinson Co. - July 23
Youth Fishing Cedar Lake - Madison Co. - July 25
Kayaking - Marshall Co. - July 26
Creating An Angler - Clinton Co. - July 26
Open Kayaking Event - Adams Co. - July 27
Sunset Eco Cruise - Clinton Co. - July 27
Yaks and Brews - Buchanan Co. - July 28
Big Muddy Catfish Classic - Sioux City - July 29


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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