At present, 12% of Iowa’s swimming beaches have elevated levels of  E. coli bacteria, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Beach Monitoring Progam (locations in yellow below). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not include Iowa beaches in its database of beach advisories because they are not coastal or Great Lakes beaches (EarthDesk July 1, 2014).  Iowa is not alone. In New York, EarthDesk’s home state, swimming beaches in popular vacation areas such as the Finger Lakes, Lake George, and the Hudson River Valley are not included.

iowa beaches

Iowa Beach Water Monitoring Program map, July 7, 2014. Via Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

For more information on the Clean Water Act’s failed July 1, 1983 policy goal regarding water and recreation: EarthDesk July 1, 2014 and EarthDesk July 1, 2013.