The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has released a report detailing efforts to clear up the water in the state’s lake. Mike McGhee of the DNR says the Iowa Legislature put up eight-point-five million dollars for the effort in 2006.
McGhee says there are 35 "priority lakes" which are a subset of 128 lakes the DNR has been monitoring closely for the last five to seven years in conjunction with Iowa State. He says they’ve been trying to set up a system for a water quality rating the lakes to determine which are the best ones for restoration. McGhee says major work is already underway on some of the lakes. He says they have about one dozen lakes in various stages of activity, with one of the most important components being local support.
McGhee says they’re working on things that can be measured and quantified in determining the improvement of the lakes. He says it’s based on "water quality improvements, and water quality goals we’ve set up" so it has a science-based method. McGhee says working with everyone in the watershed, so they’re taking the best steps to prevent pollution of the lakes is another key.
McGhee says you can do all the work in the world, but if the watershed isn’t providing good water, you’re not going to have success. McGhee talks about some of the lake projects. He says they’re progressing along nicely on Clear Lake in Cerro Gordo, in Hancock County they have a dredge in the water of Crystal Lake that will complete its work in the spring and summer, and Lake of Three Fires in Taylor County is just about finished. McGhee says the governor’s budget proposal for this year recommends another eight million dollars for the program.