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There are 10 beach advisories for the week of 8/5

10 Beaches with an E. coli-related Advisory:

Backbone Beach (Dundee, Delaware County, IA)*
Beed’s Lake Beach (Hampton, Franklin 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)*
Nine Eagles Beach (Davis City, Decatur County, IA)*

*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.

County and City Beach Advisories:
IEC is now receiving some city and county beach monitoring information.

View the map on our website for city and county beaches that exceed the state's advisory threshold for E. coli.

Walnut Creek Bio Blitz 

With the help of volunteers, Polk County Conservation conducts water quality testing to monitor the status of rivers and streams across the county. In this week's issue, summer intern McCade Gowdy shares his experience participating in monitoring Walnut Creek in Des Moines.

As a lifelong Iowan, I never thought of Iowa as a water state. In my mind, that place is reserved for northern places like Minnesota and Wisconsin, both well known for their water recreation and access to the Great Lakes. New England ports, the gulf shore, and west coast surfing are also things I envision when I think of a water state. I do not envision Iowa.

However, that could not be further from the truth.

Iowa has a vast interconnected system of waterways. We have dozens of lakes and beaches stretching across the state. Water is vital for agriculture in Iowa. So much of our state’s culture and identity revolves around water.

Simple, everyday actions relating to water are more complicated than we often recognize. We don’t always think about the stream below the bridge we cross to get to work, or about how water gets to our faucet. We don’t always consider how street drainage takes the excess water away from our houses and lawns.

Recently I had the opportunity to inspect a waterway up close. Polk County Conservation conducts water quality testing to monitor the status of 70 sites on rivers and streams across the county. Volunteers are crucial in the ability to accomplish this at such a magnitude. Testing is essential in determining the health of a waterway, and monitoring changes and potential pollution from upstream.

On a hot July afternoon, five of us trudged down under an I-235 bridge spanning across Walnut Creek in Des Moines. We were led by Steve Falck, Senior Policy Advocate at the Environmental Law & Policy Center. Other members of our team included Alicia Vasto, Associate Water Program Director at IEC, Christine Curry and Curtis Cokeley from the Izaak Walton League Des Moines Chapter.

Steve conducts water testing twice every month at two locations on Walnut Creek in Des Moines. He tests for various parameters, such as pH, nitrate, and chloride levels. Once yearly, the sites also undergo a biological and habitat assessment. Today was that day.  


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.


Weekly Water Watch advisories available in Spanish

As part of our efforts to increase the accessibility of information on Iowa's water resources, our Weekly Water Watch advisories are now available in Spanish. Please feel free to share this page with Spanish-speaking friends and family. 

IEC has called on Iowa DNR to translate beach signage into Spanish to ensure all beach-goers have access to important health and safety information. We will continue to pursue this as part of our commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. We will also continue to work on providing more water quality information in Spanish and possibly other languages in the future.


Share our new Iowa Water Watch video!

Our summer intern, McCade (who wrote the above guest blog) has been hard at work these last several weeks on a new video for Iowa Water Watch.

We encourage our readers to share the video, and subscribe to our IEC YouTube channel, so others will be able to learn more about Iowa Water Watch.

IWW aims to increase awareness of Iowa’s recreational water quality and make monitoring data more accessible and easy to understand. We do this by providing science-backed information, hosting education and advocacy events, and sharing news and updates.


Gulf of Mexico 2022 'Dead Zone' measurements are in

The 2022 Gulf of Mexico 'Dead Zone' measured at nearly 3,300 square miles large, the size equivalent to over 1.5 million football fields, and is almost two times larger than the ecological goal set by the Gulf Hypoxia Task Force. This has devastating consequences for marine wildlife and people.
It’s time we do something different. It’s time for an ambitious, basinwide strategy to decrease the size of the Dead Zone. Fortunately, our partners at the Mississippi River Network have solutions, and you can make a difference today by sending an email to members of the Gulf Hypoxia Task Force.


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.

Mines of Spain State Recreation Area
Photo by @alykat7859

Clear Lake
Photo by @livnintherightlane


What's new in Iowa's water news:

•  Nitrate and Water Quality (Practical Farmers of Iowa)

Upcoming water events:

• Women's Intro to Bowfishing Retreat - Honey Creek, IA - Aug. 5-7
Paddle in the Park - KAYAK - Hartman Reserve Nature Center, Black Hawk Co. - Aug. 5
• Water Ski Show - Bellevue, IA - Aug. 6
River Trash Bash - Kennedy Memorial Park, Webster Co. - Aug. 6
River Float/Clean-Up - Lime Creek Nature Center, Cerro Gordo Co. - Aug. 6
Pond Study - Yellow Banks Park, Polk Co. - Aug. 6
Love YOUR County Parks: Lop a Little, Learn a lot! - River Forks Access, Louisa Co. - Aug. 6
Summertime Fishing & Fun - Gustafson Lake, Buena Vista Co. - Aug. 9
The Inadvertent “Trashing” of River Experiences - Online - Aug. 9
• Full Moon Float - Cedar Lake, Madison Co. - Aug. 11
Sunset Eco Cruise - Rock Creek Marina, Clinton Co. - Aug. 11
• 2022 River Run Garbage Grab - Des Moines, IA - Aug. 12


Follow Us

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

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