Last summer, 150 Iowans took action and submitted comments in support of our petition that asked DNR to set standards for nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the state’s recreation lakes. This pollution, which is primarily caused by farm runoff, produces dangerous algae blooms that make our water unsafe for swimmers and pets.
DNR denied our petition, stating that standards for nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in Iowa’s lakes were “not necessary at this time.” We disagree and suspect you do, too. Good news: Iowans now have another opportunity to weigh in on DNR’s water quality priorities.
This week, DNR will begin holding public water quality meetings across the state giving Iowans the opportunity to provide input on the agency’s work plan to improve Iowa’s water quality standards. Written comments are also being accepted through October 15, 2014.
Your input is extremely important because once finalized, this work plan will determine how DNR’s limited staff resources will be utilized over the next THREE YEARS.
Attend one of the meetings or submit written comments to DNR Water Quality Standards Coordinator Rochelle Weiss by email or mail:
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
502 East Ninth St.
Des Moines, IA 50319
Sept. 3, 4 to 6 p.m.
Spencer Public Library (Round Room), 21 East Third St.
Sept. 4, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Washington Public Library (Nicholas Stoufer Room), 115 West Washington
West Des Moines
Sept. 8, 10 to 12 p.m.
West Des Moines Public Library (Community Room), 4000 Mills Civic Parkway
Sept. 9, 4 to 6 p.m.
Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce Lakeview Room, 10 North Lakeview Drive
Sept. 9, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Falcon Civic Center, 1305 Fifth Ave. NE
Since 2006, Iowa DNR had recorded 114 instances of dangerous algae blooms at Iowa swimming beaches, including 22 warnings this summer alone. The worst algae bloom this summer occurred at Black Hawk Lake in Sac County where DNR posted warnings about toxic algae blooms for seven straight weeks, including Labor Day weekend.
Setting standards to limit nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that is causing frequent algae blooms in Iowa lakes is our top priority for improving Iowa’s Water Quality Standards. The problem is not going to go away until we take action to limit the pollution causing the algae blooms. Ask DNR to make setting standards for nitrogen and phosphorus pollution a priority, and protect our lakes for future generations of Iowans.