Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser.

There are 9 beach advisories for the week of 8/27

  • 6 Beaches with an E. coli-related Advisory:
  • Backbone Beach (Dundee, Delaware County, IA)*
  • George Wyth Beach (Waterloo, Black Hawk 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)**
  • Note: Union Grove Beach in Gladbrook was not sampled this week due to lightning at the time of sampling. Union Grove has been under an advisory for E. coli for the past two weeks, so use caution if you are visiting this week.
  • 3 Beaches with a Microcystin-related Advisory:
    Green Valley Beach (Creston, Union County, IA)*

    Lower Pine Lake Beach (Eldora, Hardin County, IA)*
    Marble Beach (Big Spirit Lake, Spirit Lake, Dickinson County, IA)*
  • *Data from the Iowa DNR State Park Beach Monitoring Program
    **Data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District

Tracking the Progress of a “Strategy”

Iowa State University has finally published the first iterations of long-awaited data dashboards to track progress on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS). The dashboards report on the “Land” component of NRS efforts, which measure agricultural conservation practice adoption and pollution point-source facility upgrades (such as wastewater treatment plants and other industrial facilities).

IEC has repeatedly called for improved communication with the public since the NRS was adopted in 2013, and the dashboards mark a significant step forward. Future dashboards will include reporting on the other components of the NRS. Most important is the “Water” indicator, which includes water quality monitoring data and nutrient load measurements. In past NRS reports, the water quality data has lacked context or comparison to baseline measurements.

The information provided on bioreactors, saturated buffers, and wetlands is the same as previous reports. It tells us how many acres are treated by these edge-of-field practices, but still fails to tell us how many acres are needed to reach the 45% nutrient reduction goal in the NRS. While the data clearly show that 3,500 acres of Iowa land are treated with bioreactors and saturated buffers and 124,400 acres are treated with wetlands, it fails to explain that 6 million and 7.7 million acres, respectively, need to be treated by these practices to reach nutrient reduction goals. The pace of adoption is still on track to take hundreds to thousands of years. This important context is lacking from the new site.


Join us for the Iowa Climate Resiliency Forum with Representative Axne next week

IEC and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) will host a virtual discussion with Rep. Cindy Axne and Iowa advocates on Wednesday, September 1 at 9:00 AM CT.

The event will bring focus to needed federal infrastructure investments in climate resiliency and clean energy. Whether it be responding to extreme weather events with community investments or strengthening our commitment to clean power, local solutions are needed. 

Sign up today to join us next week!

Understanding the IPCC's Sixth Climate Assessment Report: A look at Iowa's changing future

Earlier this month, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered unsettling news in their sixth assessment report  our planet has suffered indisputable, irreparable damage to our climate and human activities are undeniably at fault. While this message might not come as a surprise to some, it’s still a hard pill to swallow.  

IEC summarizes how Iowa is being impacted now and how we can prepare for what's to come.

Save the Date for IEC's End of Summer Beach Bash on September 9

It's hard to believe summer is coming to a close already! Join us for a look back at the beach season, including trends in microcystin and E.coli advisories and new concerns we discovered for Iowa beachgoers, but also share our favorite memories of summer beach visits and learn how we can help protect and preserve our beaches in Iowa. It will be free and fun - watch for registration information to come soon!  

IEC set to co-host September series on water quality with Your Green Portal 

We'll be talking water quality issues all month long as the co-hosts of the popular podcast Your Green Portal along with host and founder Lynnae Marty Hentzen. On tap for discussion will be the economics of water quality, public health threats, and how Iowa can plan ahead for growing water problems exacerbated by climate change. Tune in every Friday in September at yourgreenportal.com!

Pro H2O is less than a month away!

Pro H2O is IEC's biggest fundraiser of the year and we couldn't be happier to be able to party in person with you again! After a year of (successful) virtual events, we're offering more ways than ever to join us for the clean water party of the year. We are even featuring a special release beer from Firetrucker Brewery!

Join us in person at Curate in Des Moines' East Village. Hear live music by Emily Haavik and the 35's, enjoy food and drink, and celebrate with others. Or you can join an IEC staff person and a member organization in person at these locations:

  • •  At Dickinson County Conservation's new Maser Monarch Lodge in Spirit Lake
  • •  At the Wickiup Hill Learning Center in Toddville with Linn County Conservation
  • •  At Johnson County Conservation's Conservation Education Center at FW Kent Park in Oxford
  • •  In Cedar Falls/Waterloo, with local host the Center for Energy and Environmental Education. Exact location TBD.

Can't get to one of the locations that night? Not comfortable attending a public event? We understand and that's why we're offering a streaming option this year as well! Stream it on your own wherever you like. Or you can host your own Pro H2O! Invite up to 10 friends, get a swag box from IEC, and have your own party.

COVID-19 Update: The Board of Directors of the Iowa Environmental Council, in keeping with CDC recommendations and following the science to keep us all as safe as possible as we gather together, will be requiring proof of a negative test or proof of vaccination to attend Pro H2O in person. Masks will also be required regardless of vaccination status when not eating or drinking. See the live event policy


Share Your Summer with IEC on Instagram

Follow us at @iowawaterwatch

Photo by @jenniferkdick 

Photo by @sparksncinders


What's New in Iowa's Water News

Study helps quantify importance of eroding streambanks (Iowa State)
• ConnectCR turns decades-old Cedar Lake revitalization dream into reality (The Gazette)
Majority of Iowa water systems meet health standards (Radio Iowa) 
What does the alarming new climate report mean for Iowa? (Iowa Capital Dispatch)
Water woes for one local school district could be solved with a new pipeline (WQAD8)
We're in a water crisis. We need to act like it. (TIME)

Upcoming Water Events

Standup Paddleboard Demonstration - Cold Springs Park, Cass Co. - Aug. 28
• Stubb's Eddy & Village of East Davenport Tour - Channel Cat Talks, River Action - Aug. 28
Hank Kohler’s National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium Reception - Alluvial Brewery, Ames - Aug. 28
The Water Ride 2021 - Confluence Brewing, Des Moines - Aug. 28
Stand Up Paddleboard with the Naturalist - Gray's Lake, Des Moines - Aug. 28
Standup Paddleboard Demonstration - Cold Springs Park, Cass Co. - Aug. 28
Marshmallows and Meanderings - Ft Des Moines Park, Polk Co. - Aug. 30
Challenges to Your Water with Ted Corrigan - Izaak Walton League, Des Moines - Aug. 31
Urban Ecosystem Restoration - ISWEP, Online Webinar - Sept. 1
Driftless Paddling Tour: Jackson County - Spruce Creek Park , Jackson Co. - Sept. 2
River Restoration Toolbox Training Level 1 - Ft. Dodge, IA DNR & Iowa Rivers Revival - Sept. 7 - 10
Green Stormwater Infrastructure - Gay Lea Wilson Trail, Polk Co. - Sept. 8


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

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences