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There are 10 beach advisories for the week of 8/12

9 Beaches with an E. coli-related Advisory:

Backbone Beach (Dundee, Delaware County, IA)*
Big Creek Beach (Polk City, Polk County, IA)*
Brushy Creek Beach (Lehigh, Webster County, IA)*
Emerson Bay Beach (West Okoboji Lake, Milford, Dickinson County, IA)* George Wyth Beach (Waterloo, Black Hawk County, IA)*
Lake Darling Beach (Brighton, Washington County, IA)*
Lake of Three Fires Beach (Bedford, Taylor County, IA)* - see notice below
Lower Pine Lake Beach (Eldora, Hardin County, IA)*
Union Grove Beach (Gladbrook, Tama County, IA)*

1 Beach with a Microcystin-related Advisory:
Lake Darling Beach (Brighton, Washington County, IA)*

7 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

Ver avisos en Español

Lake of Three Fires is now open. The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, Iowa DNR, and the CDC have confirmed the presence of Naegleria fowleri in Lake of Three Fires. HHS and DNR recommend that Iowans assume the amoeba is present and take precautions to limit the amount of water going up recreationists noses. 
Read the full press release.

Inspirational and Immersive Learning at Lakeside Lab

Lakeside Lab student Alena Gamble shares her experiences as a student at Lakeside Lab in Okoboji this summer, collaborating with professors, students, and even artists during her stay.

This past summer I had the pleasure of taking a course at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory in Okoboji, Iowa. Located right on the west side of West Okoboji Lake, Lakeside is a research station that offers field opportunities to students and scientists alike.  

I took Aquatic Ecology with Dr. Paul Weihe. It was an enriching class that taught me both practical and technical skills to use in the field. My classmates and I gained firsthand experience working with freshwater ecosystems in and around Lakeside, taking samples and data using the very same tools that professional ecologists use. We took water chemistry data, examined aquatic biota, and discussed the physical aspects of different ecosystems.  

My personal favorite experience of the class was our field trip to Iowa’s only bog, Dead Man’s Bog, in Pilot Knob State Park. This unique ecosystem not only taught me about the intricacies of water chemistry and biota interactions, but also inspired my love for the natural world around me.


Can you help us meet our match?

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.


IEC Supports Restoring State Input on Federal Permits

IEC signed on to comments supporting an EPA proposal to replace regulations adopted in 2020 under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. Section 401 allows states to add conditions to federal permits as necessary to meet state water quality standards. In practice, this means DNR can put conditions on wetland permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – and hundreds of projects per year are subject to the conditions.

The 2020 regulations that EPA now wants to replace had limited what states could do to ensure protections of their own waters. IEC raised concerns with the Iowa DNR about state implementation of section 401 and the application of the 2020 rules. The replacement rule should address some of those issues and are consistent with U.S. Supreme Court decisions on what conditions states can add.

DNR Accepting Comments on Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding Plan

The Iowa DNR has released Intended Use Plans (IUPs) for 2022 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) General Supplemental Funding for Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The IUPs are available online for public review and comment. IUPs outline projects and priorities for federal infrastructure dollars to fund water quality projects in Iowa.

A virtual hearing was held on Aug. 11 and written comments can be submitted through Thursday, Aug. 18 by email to: Water-infrastructure@dnr.iowa.gov

It is anticipated the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission will act on the IUPs at its Sept. 20, 2022 meeting. Intended Use Plans for BIL PFAS/Emerging Contaminants and Lead Service Line Replacement Funds are still forthcoming and will be published as separate documents at a later time. IEC will provide information on those IUPs when it becomes available.


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.

Rathbun Lake
Photo by @myboringcommute

Lake Manawa
Photo by @reddlikethecolor


What's new in Iowa's water news:

Upcoming water events:

• Paddling on the Maquoketa River - Jackson Co. - Aug. 13
SELF AM- Creature Feature Turtles - Sioux Co. - Aug. 16
• SELF PM- Creature Feature Turtles - Sioux Co - Aug. 16
Play OUTside: LGBTQ+ families PlayDates “Pond Scooping" - McFarland Park, Story Co . - Aug. 16
Extreme Kayaking at Manchester Whitewater Park - Bremer Co. - Aug. 17
Nature Buds - CreekStomp - Johnson Co. - Aug. 17
Whitewater Kayaking - Buchanan Co. - Aug. 17
Tour Big Sand Mound Preserve near Muscatine - Jones Co. - Aug. 18
Sunset Eco Cruise - Rock Creek Marina, Clinton Co. - Aug. 18


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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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