Rivers cannot speak for themselves; we need to speak for them. One of IRR’s primary goals is to provide a unified voice to speak up and speak out about the importance and quality of our rivers and related natural resources. IRR has an experienced lobbyist and coordinates an annual legislative reception and River Congress, River Councils and distributes legislative updates to help connect grassroots advocates with policy makers.
During the 2012 and 2013 legislative session, IRR successfully advocated for a new $1,000,000 appropriation for DNR river trails and dam mitigation. IRR also worked to educate and advocate against state appropriated funding to keep the Maquoketa River free flowing after the disastrous failure of the “Lake Delhi” dam. While not successful in preventing funding to help rebuild the dam, IRR was successful in advocating that the legislature require a plan for keeping human sewage out of the river and to provide public access at the Delhi impoundment if it is rebuilt.
Dam Mitigation and Water Trails Appropriation – Iowa DNR Rivers Program that provides funding to support a range of projects that address dam modification and safety concerns, and assist communities interested in water trail development and continued maintenance of existing water trails.
Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund – HF 92 increases the state sales tax by 3/8 of a cent for the Natural Resources Trust Fund established in the Iowa Constitution. Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll recently revealed that 56% of Iowans support raising the sales tax to fund water quality and outdoor recreation.