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Picture by Lois Albrecht - Iowa River, Oct 2019

Monthly Channel Chat - April 2021

(Written by Erika Eaton, Central College Intern)

Hello River Lover,

This month we celebrate Earth Day which this year falls on a Thursday. April 22 is celebrated around the world to support protecting our environment. As we advocate for our rivers, we acknowledge the importance of Earth Day to educate and appreciate our beautiful and diverse Iowa landscapes.

Starting in the 1960’s, Gaylord Nelson, now known as the father of Earth Day, had the idea to dedicate a day for environmental education. He understood that the amount of pollution to our air and water was happening without any consequences and he knew that something needed to change. 

While this was happening during the Vietnam War, Nelson wanted to use the passion from the anti-war movement to bring awareness to the environmental issues the world was facing. Finally, on April 22, 1970, an estimated 20 million people in the United States marched and demonstrated for a healthy, sustainable environment. 

With this memorable day in the books, Nelson’s plan exceeded expectations and the United States now has the following laws to protect our land and water:

  • the Clean Air Act
  • the Water Quality Improvement Act
  • the Water Pollution and Control Act Amendments
  • the Resource Recovery Act
  • the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
  • the Toxic Substances Control Act
  • the Occupational Safety and Health Act
  • the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act
  • the Endangered Species Act
  • the Safe Drinking Water Act
  • the Federal Land Policy and Management Act
  • the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act

In 1990, Earth Day went global and is now celebrated by approximately a billion people from almost 200 countries. With 2021 being the 51st year of Earth Day how will you be celebrating?

Here are a couple of ideas

  • Support our pollinators by planting native prairie plants
  • Clean up trash in your neighborhood, local park, or while you are out canoeing/kayaking
  • Use reusable materials
  • Conserve water
  • Reduce animal consumption by participating in meatless Monday’s

Until next month, stay well

Sara Carmichael, Executive Director

Featured River - Lizard Creek

This month we focus on a 34-mile long creek located just west of Fort Dodge, Iowa. This unique stream has a rocky, sandy bottom with clear and fast-flowing water. Lizard Creek is considered a non-meandered stream, meaning the state of Iowa owns the water flowing in the streams, but not the land around or under. The stream is available for public use if private land within the area is not used.

Meandered bodies of water are owned by the state of Iowa. These public streams, rivers, and creeks give people access to paddle or travel on any body of water that have enough flow to support the watercraft (see map of meandered streams in Iowa below). The streambeds of meandered rivers, up to the ordinary high-water mark, are considered publicly owned property. Non-meandered bodies of water on the other hand, are privately owned. Users of non-meandered rivers have the right to float on the water surface and wade on the stream bottom, but not access the shoreline.


Lizard Creek - Large rocks and boulders were left behind after the glaciers retreated from Iowa, around 12,000 years ago.

The Lizard offers a number of opportunities to hone your river reading skills.


Meet our Spring Semester Intern

My name is Erika Eaton. I am currently in my junior year at Central College in Pella, Iowa. I was born and raised in Quincy, Illinois and this is my first year living in Iowa. I am taking a class, Writing for Non-Profit Organizations, while partnering with Iowa Rivers Revival to do writing assignments like this month's Channel Chat. Being from Quincy, Illinois right on the Mississippi River, I have always enjoyed seeing the beautiful waters our communities have for us. It is important to me that the rivers in our country stay as clean as ever and that is why I love what Iowa Rivers Revival is doing for this state. 


Iowa Rivers Revival
PO Box 72  | Des Moines, Iowa 50301
515-350-4387 | info@iowarivers.org

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