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There are 7 beach advisories for the week of 8/26

7 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)*
Lake Darling Beach (Brighton, Washington County, IA)*
Nine Eagles Beach (Davis City, Decatur County, IA)*
Union Grove Beach (Gladbrook, Tama County, IA)*

5 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

Getting a Dose of "Vitamin N" - Nature

Lindsay Page is an Assistant Naturalist with Polk County Conservation. In this guest post, she takes us along on a recent paddle event hosted on the Des Moines River. 

Working on a Saturday probably sounds like a bummer to most people, but for me it’s easy to come to work on a Saturday when I get to spend it paddling on the Des Moines River! As an Assistant Naturalist with Polk County Conservation, an IEC Member Organization, I get to teach all sorts of folks about Central Iowa’s natural resources through interpretive programming and outdoor recreation adventures like this river trip.

Naturalist Lewis Major and I were joined by seven Polk county residents, some who had paddled before and others who were joining us as first-time paddlers. Luckily, the stretch of the Des Moines River that we explored was perfect for beginners with wide bends and predictable hazards. The water was moving at the perfect speed, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, and our paddlers were anxious to get on the river.

After pushing off at Sycamore Access, we started our float. Within our first few minutes we spotted a Great Blue Heron and two adolescent Bald Eagles. Our participants were amazed how "wild" the river felt even though we were still so close to such a populated area. After about 45 minutes of paddling, we docked on a large sandbar to do a little bit of exploring.

Participants were asked to walk the sandbar looking for one thing (or more) that caught their attention; they were given about ten minutes to look around and then they could share with the group what they found.


2022 New Voices in Water Quality Award Winners Announced

Established in 2022, Conservation Learning Group's New Voices in Water Quality Awards celebrate all avenues of water quality advocacy across the state, including Water Quality in Public Policy and Government, Water Quality Research, and more. 

13 winners were selected for the inaugural award class, including several IEC partners and friends and IEC's very own Water Program Associate Director Alicia Vasto for Water Quality in Public Policy and Government. 

Winners will be honored at an event at Reiman Gardens in Ames in October. More information about the winners will be available in the weeks leading up to the celebration.

View the complete list of award winners

Mississippi River Restoration funding included in EPA memo

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) secured language in an EPA report accompanying the FY2021 Appropriations law directing the EPA to work with federal partners and stakeholders to develop a Mississippi River Restoration and Resiliency Strategy (MRRRS). 

"If we want to continue to have safe, affordable drinking water for the 18 million Americans who rely on the Mississippi River as their water supply, we need to keep the river clean," said Alicia Vasto, Water Program Associate Director at the Iowa Environmental Council. "Excess fertilizer and other runoff pollutants are increasingly finding their way into the river, significantly driving up communities’ costs to keep their drinking water safe and clean."

Read the full press release

Massive E. coli levels also present last week in Spirit Lake

The water at a Spirit Lake beach recently had the highest concentrations of bacteria detected so far this year at any state beach in Iowa and also an unhealthy amount of blue-green algae toxins, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Crandall’s Beach water last week had more than 100 times the amount of E. coli bacteria than the level that typically triggers warnings about swimming at state beaches.

The DNR’s weekly test revealed more than 24,000 viable bacteria in less than a half cup of the lake water. The tests are unable to quantify the number of bacteria above that level.

Read the full story from Iowa Capital Dispatch.


What's new in Iowa's water news:

Upcoming water events:

Lower Wapsipinicon River Clean-up Project - Jones Co. - Aug. 26 - 28
River Runner Regatta Cardboard Boat Race - Manchester - Aug. 27
• Summertime Float - Pinicon Ridge Park, Linn Co. - Aug. 27
Rock Creek Catfish Classic - Clinton Co. - Aug. 28
Save Our Streams training - Bellevue - Aug. 31
• O.W.L.S.: Water Quality Efforts - Story Co. - Sept. 1
O.W.L.S.: Pelicans! - Polk Co. - Sept. 6
IEC's End of Season Beach Bash - Coralville Lake - Sept. 7
• Quarry Springs Paddle Skedaddle - Polk Co. - Sept. 11


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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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