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Okoboji hosts annual Blue Water Festival

Published: Aug. 7, 2021 at 8:23 PM CDT
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Okoboji, IA. (Dakota News Now) - Water experts from across Iowa came to Arnold Park Saturday to show people how to keep Iowa’s water clear at the Okoboji Blue Water Festival.

The festival started in 2016 when the Okoboji Protective Association decided to have an event to celebrate clean water.

“You know in the Iowa Great Lakes, we’ve always been on the cutting edge of water quality issues and initiatives, but we also understand that there are big challenges here and across Iowa as we grow,” said Greg Drees, the Okoboji Blue Water Festival Organizer.

More than 30 exhibitors came to show people the importance of clean water, and how it affects wildlife, farming, and the neighborhoods we live in.

There are many things people can do to help keep the water of Iowa clean, from not using as much fertilizer to joining a lake or protective association.

“You can do as much as you want or as little as you want, just so long as you’re doing something,” said John Wills, Dickinson County Clean Water Alliance Member.

“Everybody lives in a watershed, everyone lives in an area where they can disturb water or make it polluted, everything we do impacts water quality,” said Wills.

Along with the different organizations sharing what they do to keep Iowa’s water clean, there were different games and events going on for kids to help them learn about water.

“We know that people care about things when their actively engaged in them, so if you come out and maybe play a game if that sparks a little bit of interest or curiosity their going to be thinking about that for maybe the next 10 years,” said Dr. Mary Skopec, Iowa Lakeside Laboratory Executive Director. “So, all those activities really plant the seed for them to eventually think about what they can do to protect water quality.”

More information on the Okoboji Blue Water Festival can be found here.

To find out more about how to help keep Iowa’s water clean visit the Okoboji Protective Organization and Dickinson Clean Water Alliance websites.

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