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There are 14 beach advisories for the week of 8/19

11 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)*
Denison Beach (Black Hawk Lake, Lake View, Sac 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)*
McIntosh Woods Beach (Clear Lake, Ventura, Cerro Gordo County, IA)*
Prairie Rose Beach (Harlan, Shelby County, IA)*
Sugar Bottom Campground Beach (Coralville Lake, Coralville, Johnson County, IA)**

Union Grove Beach (Gladbrook, Tama County, IA)*

3 Beaches with a Microcystin-related Advisory:
Crandall's Beach (Big Spirit Lake, Spirit Lake, Dickinson County, IA)*

Lake Darling Beach (Brighton, Washington County, IA)*
Marble Beach (Big Spirit Lake, Spirit Lake, Dickinson County, IA)*

8 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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IEC Recommends Improvements to Water Quality Monitoring to Improve Effectiveness of NRS

In our recently published Water Quality Monitoring and the Water Quality Initiative, IEC outlined the nearly $100 million in public tax dollars allocated by Iowa legislators since 2013 for water quality improvements for Iowa. Yet the projects receiving funding are not appropriately monitored for outcomes or improvements in the water they are designed to treat.  

In 2018, the Iowa Legislature, with support from Governor Kim Reynolds, passed Senate File 512, which allocated more than $270 million over 10 years through the Water Quality Initiative (WQI) to help fund the state's implementation of the Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS). During the 2021 legislative session, legislators passed a 10-year extension, making an additional $320 million of funding available through 2039 to help implement water quality practices including wetlands, saturated buffers, bioreactors, and urban conservation projects. 

NRS authors recognized in the initial plan and subsequent reports the importance of additional monitoring to ensure appropriate assessment of the state’s goals for water quality. One such recommendation was increasing the state’s monitoring efforts beyond the Iowa Department of Natural Resources existing stream monitoring program.

"Despite those recommendations, the state has failed to adopt a standard approach or strategy for water monitoring for WQI projects to establish baselines and track effectiveness of the projects or progress toward NRS goals,” says Alicia Vasto, Water Program Associate Director of the Iowa Environmental Council. “As a result, data are not publicly available for many projects and state agencies lack data to assess water quality effects of the individual practices they fund." 


DNR proposes updated CAFO rules, including protections requested by IEC petitions

On August 12, 2022, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released proposed revisions of Iowa’s animal feeding operation (AFO) rules for public comment, as it had proposed to do in its response to an IEC petition for rulemaking to protect karst and drinking water. The Environmental Protection Commission ultimately denied the karst and drinking water petition, stating they anticipated it would be addressed as part of the DNR’s five-year review process.  

The proposed rules would adopt a floodplain map, as IEC requested in a second petition, by adding it to the DNR’s AFO Siting Atlas. 

Read the statement in our newsroom

Join us for fun and discussion the End of Summer Beach Bash on Coralville Lake

It's hard to think about saying goodbye to summer, so let's send it off with some fun! 

Join us for our free End of Summer Beach Bash at Bobber's Grill on the shore of Coralville Lake from 5:30 - 7:00 pm on Wednesday, September 7. We'll recap Iowa's summer water news, including toxic algae blooms, microcystin advisories, and take a look at this summer compared to past years.

We'll also discuss ways you can take action to improve Iowa's beaches. Learn more and register yourself and a friend for this free event!

Blue-green algae bloom envelops Spirit Lake 

Residents and lake goers have been sharing photos this week of large blue-green algae blooms on Big Spirit Lake and Little Spirit Lake. Iowa Lakeside Laboratories is also reporting that East Okoboji lake is experiencing pockets of blue-green algae, but that West Okoboji Lake does not appear affected. The lab confirmed to IEC earlier this week they planned to sample and test for toxins. As noted above, Crandall's Beach and Marble Beach did both test above the advisory threshold for microcystin, a toxic byproduct of blue-green algae. Avoid recreating in this water and do not let dogs swim in or drink the water, or play on the sand near blooms as microcystin can be especially harmful to dogs. Learn more about the causes and concerns of harmful blue-green algae


What's new in Iowa's water news:

Upcoming water events:

• Yeader Creek Cleanup - Polk Co. - Aug. 20
Floatzilla - Quad Cities - Aug. 20
Wapsi Summer Kayak - Buchanan Co. - August 20
Youth Fishing at Cedar Lake - Winterset - Aug. 23
• Creek Walk - McFarland Park, Story Co. - Aug. 20
Building Better Birders Cruise - Rock Creek Marina, Clinton Co . - Aug. 24
Sunset Eco Cruise - Rock Creek Marina, Clinton Co . - Aug. 25
Summertime Float - Pinicon Ridge Park, Linn Co. - Aug. 27
Rock Creek Catfish Classic - Clinton Co. - Aug. 28
O.W.L.S.: Water Quality Efforts - Story Co. - Sept. 1
IEC's End of Season Beach Bash - Coralville Lake - Sept. 7


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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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