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There are 13 beach advisories for the week of 8/13

  • 13 Beaches with an E. coli-related Advisory:
  • Backbone Beach (Dundee, Delaware County, IA)*
  • Beed’s Lake Beach (Hampton, Franklin County, IA)*
  • George Wyth Beach (Waterloo, Black Hawk County, IA)*
  • Lake Darling Beach (Brighton, Washington County, IA)*
  • Lake Keomah Beach (Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, IA)*
  • Lake Manawa Beach (Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, IA)*
  • Lake of Three Fires Beach (Bedford, Taylor County, IA)*
  • Lower Pine Lake Beach (Eldora, Hardin 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)**
  • Prairie Rose Beach (Harlan, Shelby County, IA)*
  • Union Grove Beach (Gladbrook, Tama County, IA)*

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

IEC, ELPC Petition for New Rules to Protect Drinking Water
From CAFO Pollution

The Iowa Environmental Council and Environmental Law & Policy Center have filed a petition for rulemaking with Iowa’s Environmental Protection Commission to protect drinking water, groundwater, and karst terrain from pollution. The rules would restrict development of large animal feeding operations in sensitive landscapes. 

The petition argues that to protect Iowa’s drinking water, the Commission must adopt rules requiring installation of pollution monitoring systems, consideration of unique or special environmental factors in feedlot approvals, and stricter requirements for the approval of new construction. 

"Our current regulations for CAFO construction are not up to the task of protecting Iowans, as evidenced by the recent approval of a massive feedlot in sensitive karst terrain,” said Michael Schmidt, IEC Staff Attorney. “Groundwater can easily be contaminated in karst regions, and our current rules do not protect it. The Environmental Protection Commission needs to start living up to its name and protecting the environment and - in cases such as this - the health of the public." 

The number of animal feeding operations in Iowa has grown significantly since 1990. A Department of Natural Resources (DNR) database lists more than 12,000 active feedlots. The animals in those feedlots produce as much manure as 134 million people, which can pollute drinking water sources with nitrate and phosphorus. 

"Every Iowan deserves safe drinking water. It shouldn’t be discretionary. The proposed rules will ensure that DNR takes steps to protect drinking water when evaluating future proposed CAFOs," said Josh Mandelbaum, Senior Attorney at the Environmental Law & Policy Center.

Nitrate contamination in drinking water can cause blue-baby syndrome, birth defects, bladder cancer, thyroid cancer and other cancers. Excess nitrate and phosphorus promote the growth of cyanobacterial algal blooms producing toxins that can cause liver damage, neurotoxicity, gastrointestinal problems, and various flu-like reactions.  


IEC gives overview of CAFO petition in online presentation: watch anytime

Looking to better understand the petition IEC and ELPC filed this week? Want to share the news or help educate a friend?

IEC Staff Attorney Michael Schmidt prepared a video providing an overview of the petition, our goals, and what you can do in a short recorded presentation.

Watch and learn why the petition is important to the future of Iowa's drinking water and recreational opportunities. If you value safe water, please share this video to your friends and family.

Tell EPA to Strengthen Protections for Waters of the U.S.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of the Army scheduled initial online public meetings  in August to hear from interested stakeholders on their perspectives on defining "waters of the United States"  (WOTUS) and how to implement that definition. This process revises the Trump Administration’s “Navigable Waters Rule,” which is currently in effect and severely undermines the Clean Water Act. 

Check out talking points and sign up to attend a virtual public meeting on August 25, 26, or 31.   

Pro H2O is Nearly Here and Our Auction is Back for 2021

We're getting excited for Pro H2O on September 16, and invite you to register to join us for music, award presentations, and fun online or live in person at venues in Des Moines, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Okoboji! Tickets are available now.

Additionally, for 2021 we're bringing back the popular and successful online auction! We're excited to give you a sneak peek of our auction items. The bidding begins on Tuesday, September 7. You can still participate in the auction even if you don't attend Pro H2O. Which of these will you bid on?

  • • A $500 gift card and fly-fishing lessons for two from Rod and Rivet
  • • Gift basket from Thumbprint Soaps
  • • Family of four admission and a gift bag from Blank Park Zoo
  • • Family of four admission and beaker glasses from Science Center of Iowa
  • • Gift certificate for five cheese trays from Jasper Winery
  • • Two night stay at the Betts House, Hollyhock Cottage, or Woodland Carriage House from Whiterock Conservancy
  • • Three-night weekend stay at a cabin overlooking Lake Superior
  • • Family photo session from Brenna Norman Photography
  • • Four pack of season tickets to Iowa Stage Theatre

Want to support our clean water work by donating an item to the auction? There's still time! Connect with Jordan Bles, at bles@iaenvironment.org to add your gift to the auction action today.

Private cabin on Lake Superior


Products from Thumbprint Soaps


Gift pack from the Science Center


Share Your Summer with IEC on Instagram

Follow us at @iowawaterwatch

Photo by @strongroots_and_wildspirits

Photo by @tonesimons


What's New in Iowa's Water News

Environmentalists petition Iowa to make it harder to build livestock operations in sensitive areas (Des Moines Register)
• Gulf ‘Dead Zone’ Grows, May Mean More Regulation For Iowa Farmers (KIWA Radio)
Iowa Paddlers Sick of State’s Green, Polluted Water (Iowa Starting Line) 
Iowa scientists: Latest UN climate change report means Iowa politicians must act to avert ‘crisis’ (Iowa Capital Dispatch)
Iowa Latino Groups Take Action For Their Environments (Iowa Public Radio) 
Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Speaking for the prairie (Bleeding Heartland) 
Drought expands in Iowa (The Gazette) 

Upcoming Water Events

Family Days at Aquatic Facilities - Des Moines Metro - Aug. 13
• Light Up The Lake - Lake Orient Rec Area, Adair Co. - Aug. 13
Fishing Has No Boundaries - Rock Creek Marina, Clinton Co. - Aug. 14
River Runner Regatta - Manchester, IA White Water Park - Aug. 14
River Float and Cleanup - Winnebago River, Cerro Gordo Co. - Aug. 14
Unique Fish of the Mississippi River - GrimesFarm, Marshall Co. - Aug. 17
Water Wonders - Pioneer Ridge Nature Area, Wapello Co. - Aug. 18
A Mississippi River Adventure on the Maiden Voyage - Osborne Park, Clayton Co. - Aug. 19
Stand Up Paddleboarding - Gray's Lake, Des Moines - Aug. 19
Beginner Kayaking - Terra Lake Park, Johnston - Aug. 19
Sturgeon Moon Float - Rock Creek Marina, Clinton Co. - Aug. 19
Floatzilla - Mississippi River, Quad Cities - Aug. 21


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

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