Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser.

There are 8 beach advisories for the week of 7/22

7 Beaches with an E. coli-related Advisory:
Backbone Beach (Dundee, Delaware County, IA)*
Big Creek Beach (Polk City, Polk County, IA)*
Black Hawk Beach (Lake View, Sac County, IA)*
Lake Darling Beach (Brighton, Washington County, IA)*
Lake of Three Fires Beach (Bedford, Taylor County, IA)* [temporarily closed; see note below]
McIntosh Woods Beach (Clear Lake, Ventura, Cerro Gordo County, IA)*
Prairie Rose Beach (Harlan, Shelby County, IA)*

1 Beach with a Microcystin-related Advisory:
Geode Beach (Danville, Des Moines County, IA)*

County and City Beach Advisories:
IEC is now receiving some city and county beach advisory information.
View the map on our website for city and county beaches that exceed the state's advisory threshold for E. coli.

*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 had a confirmed infection and passed away 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. Additionally, the test results for E. coli exceed the advisory threshold this week.

Staying Together and Sticking it Out for Stream Monitoring in Story County 

In this week's issue we share a guest blog from Dan Haug, who works with IEC Member Organization Prairie Rivers of Iowa. Despite budget cuts to the Iowa DNR's long-running citizen science program, several groups in Story County stepped forward to ensure that volunteer stream monitoring continued in their area. Overcoming difficulties and obstacles has been hard, yet rewarding. He shares the learning experiences, and fun, he's had along the way during his water quality monitoring program experience.

I approach water quality monitoring the way some people approach an amusement park or an all-you-can-eat buffet. "If we're gonna do this thing, let's make it worth our while."

If you are monitoring a stream with the expectation of tracking progress (or lack of it) in your watershed, you may be disappointed.

I got involved in water quality monitoring because my organization had been working with farmers in the Ioway Creek watershed, and we wanted to know if the woodchip bioreactor and cover crops that they had planted in Boone, Story, and Hamilton counties were translating into lower nitrate and total phosphorus levels in the creek. 

I wasn't expecting big improvements after just three years, but I was shocked to discover that even with twice a month samples processed by a certified lab, even if the pace of conservation picked up, we could be waiting decades for a conclusive answer. Many Iowa streams can go from crystal clear to muddy brown and back in a few days, and if you're only testing 12 or 24 days a year, by chance you might catch too few or too many of those muddy days, making it look as if phosphorus is getting slightly worse when it's really getting slightly better, or vice versa.

Once you acknowledge that difficulty, you can find ways around it. Nitrate and turbidity can be monitored in real time with sensors. It's possible to control for weather and get at underlying trends with the right study design, or with the right statistical analysis.

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.


Mentorship program: Next gen ag and conservation professionals

Green Lands Blue Waters has recently announced the launch of the Next Gen Ag and Conservation Professionals Mentorship Program

This mentorship program focuses on students of color and offers rich opportunities to connect and be in community with incredible mentors, farmers, and trainers, representing diverse ag communities across the Upper Midwest. Apply by August 1 if you’re a fit or encourage grad students you work with to apply. 


Virtual Tour: Visit Lake Red Rock sites and attractions

Lakes are crucial natural resources for Iowa's economy. They provide recreation and tourism opportunities for millions of Iowa families and visitors year after year.

Explore the sites and activities at Iowa's biggest lake on our story map of sites and attractions of Lake Red Rock. 

Whether by land or by water, Lake Red Rock is a great attraction to spend an afternoon or several days sightseeing. Tag us in your photos @iowawaterwatch!


Nominations open for IRR's 2023 River Town of the Year

The annual River Town of the Year award recognizes an Iowa town or city for outstanding efforts to reclaim river-fronts as anchors for economic development, recreation, and good ecological practices. 

River Town of the Year applicants must demonstrate community commitment, involvement in protecting and maintaining river quality, and promoting the river as an asset to your town. Read here for the full details, award requirements, and application form due by September 1.


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 @brynley_rowboat_rr

Photo by @scott.t.lastname


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

•  DNR weighs options for brain-eating amoeba  (IA Capital Dispatch)

Upcoming Water Events

• Pond Study - Easter Lake Park, Polk Co. - July 23
Chickasaw/Floyd Float on the Cedar River - Howard's Woods, Chickasaw Co. - July 23
Youth Paddle: Van Buren Co. - Jefferson Co. Park, Jefferson Co. - July 26
Intro to Stand Up Paddleboarding - Grays Lake, Des Moines - July 26
• History of Racism and the Effect on Black Participation Rates in Water-Based Outdoor Recreation - Online - July 26
Kayaking for the Beginner - Northeast IA C.C., Dubuque - July 27
Sunset Eco Cruise - Rock Creek Marina, Clinton Co. - July 28
• Summer Skills - Canoeing - Jester Park, Polk Co. - July 28
Stand Up Paddle with the Naturalist - Grays Lake, Des Moines - July 28


Follow Us

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

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences