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Iowans value water quality and desire safe, healthy lakes that provide a full complement of aesthetic, ecological and recreational benefits. Clean lakes improve the quality of life for Iowans and are compatible with economic growth. Lake restoration successes at Lake Ahquabi (Warren County) and Lake of Three Fires (Taylor County) show that significant improvement in water quality can be expected following lake restoration.
2006 was a milestone year of intensified focus on Iowa's lakes. This emphasis was encouraged by the 2006 Infrastructure Bill (HF2782), which provides additional funding and requires the DNR to use a science-based approach to achieving lake water quality improvements. The program was continued in 2007 as a result of status quo funding from (HF911) through the Restore Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIFF). A handout of the Lake Restoration Program summarizes the prioritization process.
127 of Iowa's principal public lakes were ranked for lake restoration suitability based upon a number of socio-economic, water quality, watershed factors. The ranking process resulted in a priority list of thirty-five lakes, which serves as a starting point for consideration of potential lake restoration projects.
Local involvement and watershed protection are essential components of all successful lake restoration projects. The DNR is actively working to build partnerships with local stakeholders, private landowners and natural resource professionals to ensure successful projects.
The annual report documents lake restoration progress and outlines future lake and watershed restoration projects. Successful lake restoration projects will improve lake water quality and recreational opportunities, contribute to community development efforts and make Iowa a better place to live and work.
Lake Restoration Report and Plan