A major renovation effort to improve water quality in Easter Lake in Des Moines has received a national award presented to public clean water utilities for outstanding contributions to environmental protection, their communities, ratepayers, and the water sector. Des Moines Public Works received the 2021 National Environmental Achievement Award in the Watershed Collaboration category for the Restoring Easter Lake initiative, in which the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other agencies partnered.
While work in the lake included excavating sediment, stabilizing shoreline, and restocking fish, the project also focused on reducing nonpoint source pollution. The effort identified pollutant sources and priority areas for improvement projects, and also worked to educate residents in the watershed on water quality issues and helped them incorporate practices in their homes and yards to improve water quality in the lake.
Monitoring of conservation practices used in a single drainage basin adjacent to Easter Lake showed a 19 percent reduction in runoff over four years. “This was truly a watershed approach,” says Kyle Ament, Watershed Basin Coordinator with the DNR. “Water quality improvements focused on solving problems on both public and private land, with residents, government agencies, businesses, and other partners coming together to improve Easter Lake for the whole community.”
For more information, contact Kyle Ament.