Dear Editor,

I grew up in Ottumwa. I fished from the hydro dam. I camped & hiked in area parks. My parents, sister and nephew still live in Ottumwa and are still impacted by the quality of 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 of Iowa River’s Revival Advisory Board (IRR), I’d 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 funding water quality, including $1 million for low-head dam mitigation. These funds will make water recreation safer by lowering the risk of injury from Iowa’s current dam infrastructure.

Beyond this, the funds will improve local habitat and boost economic development. Ottumwa will see the benefits of these programs in locations such as the Lower Des Moines River Water Trail.

Iowa’s waterways are one of the most valuable resources we have. Our rivers, lakes, and creeks make the state a desirable place to live, work and play. This increased investment aligns well with Governor Reynold’s “This is Iowa” campaign which aims to bring new visitors and residents to Iowa through our robust outdoor recreation.

Safer and cleaner water trails are sure to bring more ecotourism dollars to the state through boating, kayaking, and rafting. We look forward to continued 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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