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There are 12 beach advisories for the week of 7/23

9 Beaches with an E. coli-related Advisory:
Backbone Beach (Dundee, Delaware County, IA)*
Big Creek Beach (Polk City, Polk County, IA)*
Lake Keomah Beach (Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, IA)*
Lake Manawa Beach (Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, IA)*
Lower Pine Lake Beach (Eldora, Hardin County, IA)*
Nine Eagles Beach (Davis City, Decatur County, IA)*
Pleasant Creek Lake Beach (Palo, Linn County, IA)*
Prairie Rose Beach (Harlan, Shelby County, IA)*
Union Grove Beach (Gladbrook, Tama County, IA)*
3 Beaches with a Microcystin-related Advisory:
Green Valley Beach (Creston, Union County, IA)*
Lake Darling Beach (Brighton, Washington County, IA)*
McIntosh Woods Beach (Clear Lake, Ventura, Cerro Gordo County, IA)*
*Data from the Iowa DNR State Park Beach Monitoring Program
**Data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District

Note: Scum with high levels of microcystin was found at West Overlook Beach at Coralville Lake this week. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ testing showed the composite beach area was below advisory level (8 ug/L), but scum along the shore is dangerous and should be avoided. Here’s what to watch for when swimming this summer.

Are we really doing right by Iowa's land and water?

This summer Communications Support Assistant, Megan McDowell, visited state parks in Western Iowa. Her observations made her question if we can be doing better by our lakes, rivers, and wildlife in Iowa.

This summer I had the unique opportunity to spend time in Western Iowa camping, canoeing, and exploring four state parks. My base camp was the lovely Swan Lake State Park in Carroll County. From there I visited Prairie Rose, Blackhawk, and Twin Lakes state parks, as well as explored the shoreline of Storm Lake. I also discovered the beauty of Grant County Park along the North Raccoon River and Reiff Park along the Boyer River near Early, Iowa.

Iowa has some pretty amazing parks. Last summer, many of us realized their importance more than ever. This summer, people are getting out in droves and exploring the great outdoors both close by and far from home. I chose these state parks because they’ve been on the Iowa DNR’s beach advisory lists for E.coli, making them unsafe for swimming and other recreation.

I often wonder if people really know when the beaches are unsafe for swimming. When you visit beaches under advisory, the signs are relatively small, easy to ignore, and I imagine visitors are writing them off as the standard ‘no lifeguard on duty’ notification. I talked with a mom at Twin Lakes State Park who told me the nearby community has a Facebook page that posts the beach advisories from the DNR. But as a traveler coming to the park, would they see the one, lone sign that’s not even close to the main beach where the majority of kids were swimming that day?


Join us for Iowa Gives Green on August 4

IEC is excited to announce the inaugural Iowa Gives Green fundraiser! Ten Iowa environmental and conservation nonprofits are participating in the day of giving, and we anticipate more will sign on.

Visit IowaGivesGreen.org to see the partnering organizations. Please consider supporting IEC for Iowa Gives Green to help us meet our matching gift of $2,500! You can give now or on August 4 to help us make our goal. Thank you for all that you do to make Iowa a better place to live, work, and explore!

What's the deal with Iowa's NRS?

IEC has been reporting on the shortcomings of Iowa's voluntary Nutrient Reduction Strategy for several years, and our newest video illustrates our points: a lack of timelines and benchmarks, no numeric limits, a frustratingly slow adoption rate focused on voluntary participation. 

View the video for more, then take a look at our recent report offering five realistic, manageable policy solutions that could provide real improvement for Iowa's water.  


Share Your Summer with IEC on Instagram

Follow us at @iowawaterwatch

Photo by @danniyanphotography

Photo by @furdan1947


What's New in Iowa's Water News

DNR testing underway at Storm Lake after algae blooms (Storm Lake Times)
• "Anybody can do it" - Volunteers test water quality in Scott County (WQAD)
UI scientists: Corps should consider livestock, not just geese, as Red Rock pollution source (Iowa Capital Dispatch) 
Water crisis in Des Moines: Why does a river city need wells? (FMR) 
Editorial: Dodging Bullets (Storm Lake Times) 
After more than 2 years without clean water, Bagley residents can drink from tap again (KCCI) 
New law: Iowa cities can't stop fluoridation without telling residents (Cedar Rapids Gazette) 
 The dangers of runoff from land (EcoWatch) 
 Water quality top of mind at Saylorville Reservoir (WOI) 

Upcoming Water Events

Paddle in the Park: Canoe - Hartman Reserve, Black Hawk Co. - July 23
• Intro to Kayaking - Airport Lake Park, Chickasaw Co. - July 23
Full Moon Canoe/Kayak - Shell Rock Rec Area, Butler Co. - July 23
Family Beginning Canoeing - Central Park, Jones Co. - July 24
Paddle into the Past - Austin Park, Jefferson Co. - July 24
Stand Up Paddleboarding - Annett Nature Center, Warren Co. - July 25
Wild Waterbirds 9-11:30 AM - Calkins Nature Area, Hardin Co. - July 26
Wild Waterbirds 1-5:00 PM - Calkins Nature Area, Hardin Co. - July 26
Building Better Birders: Waterfowl - Gateway Park, Iowa Co. - July 22
Youth Kayak Program 3 - Calkins Nature Area, Hardin Co. - July 26
Mussel Beach Cruise - Rock Creek Marina, Clinton Co. - July 28
Bird Identification Presentation: Water Birds - Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, Woodbury Co. - July 29


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

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