Tomorrow, the Iowa Environmental Council will join 35 environmental organizations and individual advocates from across Iowa at Environmental Lobby Day/REAP Day at the Capitol, an annual event held in the state Capitol building. The event will be held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the rotunda, and is open to anyone that cares about protecting Iowa’s natural resources.
The event, co-hosted by the Council and Iowa Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Alliance, is a fantastic way for concerned citizens, activists, and members of environmental and conservation-focused organizations to meet with and speak with Iowa legislators about environmental programs and policies face-to-face.
Last year, nearly 150 people and more than 30 organizations gathered at the statehouse to speak with their elected officials about “closing the deal for conservation.” This year, activists and organizations are going to use that momentum to create meaningful change in environmental policy in Iowa, calling upon legislators to support our natural resources through sustained funding.
Funding for conservation and water quality initiatives are incredibly important to statewide and local conservation efforts. We must invest in REAP and the Water Quality Initiative to increase their reach and impact, and fill Iowa’s Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.
Nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in Iowa waterways and the corresponding health risks will also be a focal point for many. Many organizations, including the Council, will call for improvements to strengthen Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy to achieve measurable progress in achieving clean water. The strategy currently lacks a timeline, local goals, reliable and consistent water quality testing and assessment requirements, and long-term sustainable funding.
Face-to-face discussions are one of the best ways to show legislators that environmental legislation is important to their constituents. This year, help us show policymakers that Iowans care about conservation.