• Protecting the Lakes for over 100 years

  • Protecting the Lakes for over 100 years

  • Protecting the Lakes for over 100 years

  • Protecting the Lakes for over 100 years

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  • Preventing invasive species
  • Preserving and protecting the wetlands in the Iowa Great Lakes watersheds
  • Participating in the control of lake developments to prevent environmental threats
  • Promoting sustainable urban and agricultural development that won’t upset the delicate ecological balance of the lakes and watershed
  • Informing the community of any concerns and actions that must be taken to act on those ecological concerns


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Proposed Carbon Pipeline Through Dickinson County

There is a pipeline being proposed that would carry carbon dioxide through a portion of Dickinson County. It would extend a little more than 20 miles through the eastern part of the county. While the goal is to reduce carbon emissions from ethanol plants, some environmental groups still have their concerns. Resources can be found below and will be added to as we learn more:


Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation Secures Option to Protect East Okoboji Shoreline

UPDATE: As of September 6, 2021, 100% of the $8.2 million needed was pledged and the project was a success! Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation will close on the property in December 2021. Okoboji Protective Association had initially pledged $25,000 towards the project. During the final week of fundraising, we created a match challenge for our members, matching dollar for dollar up to $10,000 to donate to the project. Our members exceeded our expectations and donated and pledged a total of $98,075 in less than a week. With that money plus OPA's initial $25,000 plus an additional $10,000 from OPA after members met our challenge, we were able to generate a total of $133,075 to go towards the purchase of this portion of the East Okoboji shoreline. We are so grateful this property will be left in its natural state for generations to come.


The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) recently secured an option to purchase the 50 acres directly north of Bedell State Park that includes 2,020 feet of natural shoreline. This is the largest remaining section of unprotected, wild shoreline in the Iowa Great Lakes.   

The East Okoboji Shoreline project will help keep the natural character of the lake shore, will ensure important areas for wildlife and plants are protected and betters water quality.  

The OPA's quick action to use $25,000 from the recent generous bequests from Peppy and Norm Bahr toward this project was instrumental in helping secure the option.  

Joe McGovern, President of the INHF, says, “INHF is delighted to be working with OPA and other partners to protect this noteworthy place. It is a tremendous undertaking and we wouldn't be able to do it without this great partnership.”

By Abby Terpstra, INHF Donor Relations Director

CLAMP O WEEN 2020 (Provided by Jane Shuttleworth - CLAMP results for Iowa Great Lakes.)

OPA Newsletters

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    OPA Helps Youngster Keep Okoboji's Public Beaches Clean

    Congratulations are in order for a young Okoboji elementary student and the OPA! Sawyer Miller, a third grader at Okoboji Elementary, wanted to make a difference on Okoboji's public beaches and came to the OPA board for its help. He came to a board meeting in late April to make his request.As part of the Talented and Gifted program at his school, his teacher, Mrs. Sackett, was working with each of her students on solving a real world problem. Sawyer’s huge general problem was pollution, and he had narrowed it down to pollution on our own beaches: specifically trash.His solution to the problem was the beach cleanup box project that he had worked on for several months. The first box, which he brought to the board meeting, would be placed at the beach by the bridge between East and West Okoboji.  Inside the box, Sawyer had built a top compartment for placing plastic gloves, while the larger compartment was built for biodegradable trash bags…and that’s why Sawyer was there. He was hoping the board would provide the financial support for the gloves and trash bags.He felt $210 would be enough for up to three boxes that he planned to eventually build. A board member responded, “How about $300?” This would give Sawyer some extra funding in case he had the time to build another box! The smile on Sawyer's face said it all! With the help of the OPA board, his project would become reality.We can all do our partSawyer’s belief in his project and that this can make a difference should be an inspiration to all of us. It’s an example that each of us can make a difference in the way we take care of our environment. Thanks, Sawyer, for reminding us all that we owe it to ourselves and all of those around us to step up to the plate. After all, it’s the only environment that we will ever get!
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