Why You Should Plug An Old Well

Russ Tell, senior environmental specialist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, points to two main goals when plugging up old wells: protecting the aquifer and safety.

News Quiz: Managing Iowa’s Landfills

Iowans dumped 2.7 million tons of garbage into landfills last year. One method the Iowa Department of Natural Resources promotes to reduce the negative influence of dumping all that garbage has on the environment is called the Environmental Management System, but many Iowa landfill operators are reluctant to adopt this new system. How much do you know about Iowa’s efforts to reduce garbage put into landfills?

IowaWatch Connection: Water Toxins

This year marked a record number of state beach closings due to microcystin, a liver toxin produced by cyanobacteria, more commonly called blue-green algae. What are the risks for people, pets and livestock that come into contact with the toxin? And why are we seeing more of it at Iowa beaches?

Severity Of Algae In Iowa Lakes Is On The Rise

That paint-like scum that covers some Iowa lakes every summer isn’t just gross and smelly. People, pets, and livestock coming into contact with or ingesting toxins produced by the algae are at risk to symptoms including skin rashes, gastrointestinal issues and, in high doses, liver failure.

The Science Of Iowa Lake Scum

Only certain strains of cyanobacteria can produce toxins, although they don’t always do so.

“Scientists generally agree that the cyanobacteria evolved this ability to produce toxin either as a competitive advantage or as some sort of protection,” Mary Skopec, who heads the Iowa Department of Natural Resources beach monitoring program, said.

Wind Energy Industry Spun Into Bat Preservation Effort

Iowa’s wind industry must deal with unwanted bat deaths as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tries to stop the slaughter of one species – the northern long-eared bat. This, despite wind turbines not being the bats’ main tormentor.