LETTER: Iowa’s Waterways Are Most Important Resource | Letters to the Editor

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Mr. Editor,

I grew up in Ottumwa. I fished from the hydroelectric dam. I camped and hiked parks in the area. My parents, sister and nephew still live in Ottumwa and are still affected by the quality of the water in the Des Moines River. Now, I hope that continued investment in our natural resources will protect these resources for future generations.

As a member of the Iowa River Revival Advisory Board (IRR), I would like to thank Senator Adrian Dickey and Representative Cherielynn Westrich for their support of Iowa’s water resources. In the 2021 session, the Iowa legislature approved water quality funding, including $ 1 million for low-head dam mitigation. These funds will make water recreation safer by reducing the risk of injury from the Iowa Dam’s existing infrastructure.

Beyond that, the funds will help improve local housing and stimulate economic development. Ottumwa will see the benefits of these programs at places such as the Lower Des Moines River Aquatic Trail.

One of the most valuable resources available to us is Iowa’s waterways. Our rivers, lakes and streams make the state a great place to live, work and play. This increased investment aligns well with Governor Reynold’s “This is Iowa” campaign, which aims to attract new visitors and residents to Iowa through our strong outdoor recreation.

Safer, cleaner water trails will certainly bring more ecotourism dollars to the state through boating, kayaking, and rafting. We look forward to continuing to work with Senator Dickey, Representative Westrich and their colleagues to further improve Iowa’s rivers during the 2022 legislative session.

Mark Langgin, Des Moines

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