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A Summer Worth Watching

Just like that, we’ve come to the unofficial end of the summer recreational season. Weekly beach monitoring has ended for the year as the weather turns toward fall. Thank you for following along with us for the past 15 weeks of Weekly Water Watch. Before we turn our focus fully to fall, let’s recap the major water stories of the summer. 

The 2021 drought extended into 2022, but timely June rains brought relief and led to fewer microcystin advisories than last year. In the 15-week monitoring period for 39 public beaches, Iowa DNR issued 12 beach advisories for microcystin and 108 for E. coli. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District issued 4 advisories for E. coli on the six beaches it monitors on Iowa reservoirs (Saylorville Lake and Lake Red Rock).  

For the first time in six years, Backbone Beach did not have the most E. coli advisories – Lake Darling took the top spot with 14 advisories in 15 weeks. Lake Geode, Green Valley Lake, Lake Darling, and McIntosh Woods Beach at Clear Lake each had two microcystin advisories. 

Twelve microcystin advisories is about half compared to last year. Harmful algae blooms still made headlines though, especially in August. A few other major stories also drew the public’s attention to Iowa’s water quality this summer. 


Thank you to everyone that attended Wednesday’s End of Summer Beach Bash at Bobber’s Grill on Coralville Lake! We had some excellent and thoughtful questions. We also enjoyed the conversations and drinks we had with attendees afterwards.

There will be more events in the future and other ways to get involved, so keep an eye out and check out our Iowa Water Watch page for more information. We look forward to seeing you at future events and hope to have you stay involved as passionate advocates for Iowa's water and land future! If you’re interested in taking action for Iowa’s lakes and beaches, consider writing a letter-to-the-editor or op-ed for your local paper. IEC can help get your piece published. If interested, contact Angelisa Belden at belden@iaenvironment.org


We've got just under $10,000 to go - help us get there!

The support we've received on our 2022 Water Match has been nothing short of incredible. Because of your generosity, we are less than $10,000 away from making our $25,000 matching gift from a generous donor to support all of the clean water work you are reading about here. Now is the time – make a gift today, have your impact doubled, and help us finish reaching our goal! 


Join us Sunday for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival!

Join us this Sunday, September 11 from 1 to 4 p.m., as we explore a variety of environmental films, all featured on the big screen! Use promo code WILD for $5 off your ticket prices today!

You'll be hosted by emcee Kellie Kramer, co-host of Iowa Outdoors on Iowa PBS, at the Palms Theatres & IMAX in Waukee for an inspiring afternoon of new films and a local panel conversation. 

Seating is limited and is going fast, so don't delay - get your tickets today! With your in-person ticket, enjoy popcorn, candy, and a drink; you'll also take home a cool IEC camp cup! Or, join us virtually and we will send you a bag of popcorn to enjoy at home.

IEC announces Alicia Vasto to become Water Program Director

The Iowa Environmental Council is pleased to announce Alicia Vasto will serve as IEC's Water Program Director, responsible for leading the organization's efforts on clean water, land stewardship, and climate resiliency. 

Vasto joined the Council's Clean Water and Land Stewardship Program in 2019 and became Water Program Associate Director in 2020. Vasto has played a key role in the organization's water outreach and advocacy goals, including source water and drinking water protections, community engagement on flooding, IEC's Water Watch initiative, Nutrient Reduction Strategy analysis, and efforts to fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund in Iowa.

Leveling the Playing Field: Basic Standards of Care for Iowa 

For many years, the Iowa Environmental Council has called on Iowa state leadership to adopt regulations that would lead to actual reductions of fertilizer pollution in Iowa’s waterways.

The state’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy has failed to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loading in Iowa streams and lakes.

Decades of inadequate progress demonstrate that regulation is the only way Iowa will reach its fertilizer pollution reduction goals.

In this August 2022 publication, IEC analyzes three regulations that have been adopted by other states that could be implemented in Iowa and accelerate progress toward our shared water quality goals.


What's new in Iowa's water news:

Upcoming water events:

Heritage Days at Liberty Lake - Ringgold Co. - Sept. 10
Moonlight Paddle - Fontana Park, Buchanan Co. - Sept. 10
• Fall Festival - Lime Creek Nature Center, Cerro Gordo Co. - Sept. 11
• 2022 Pelican Festival - Hawkeye Wildlife Management Area - Sept. 11
• Quarry Springs Paddle Skedaddle - Polk Co. - Sept. 11
• Canoeing with the Voyageurs - Bulger's Hollow Rec Area, Clinton Co. - Sept. 13
• Knee-High Naturalist: Life in a Pond - Jester Park, Polk Co. - Sept. 14
• Brown Bag Bunch: Iowa River Walk - Forest Reserve, Marshall Co. - Sept. 14
• Sunset Eco Cruise - Rock Creek Marina, Clinton Co. - Sept. 15
• Save Our Streams Macroinvertebrate Field Training - Jefferson, IA - Sept. 17
• River Excursion: Des Moines River - Henderson Landing, Webster Co. - Sept. 17


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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