+ View Section Navigation

Iowa's Recreational Waters: Outdoor Fun with Risks

Iowa's rivers, lakes, and beaches are a source of fun for everyone and deliver millions of tourism dollars to communities around the state. Our recreational lakes and beaches are threatened by increasing bacterial contamination and fertilizer pollution, which contributes to harmful algal blooms (HABs) that can create dangerous toxins. 

Bacteria and algae can lead to swim advisories, and sometimes drinking water advisories, that make it impossible to enjoy our beaches and threaten tourism dollars for many communities.  Learn more about the benefits, impacts, and concerns below.

Iowa Water Watch 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. Iowa Water Watch is published as a monthly e-newsletter during the non-recreation season. During the summer recreation season, we transition to Weekly Water Watch every Friday.

Beach Monitoring Weekly Water Watch
Harmful Algae Blooms E.Coli Bacteria
Iowa Water Watchdogs Advocacy Toolkit
Visit Iowa Lakes Economic impacts of Iowa's Lakes

IEC's Water Watch efforts are made possible through your generous support. Please consider a donation to help us continue this important work.