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DNR to Hold Discussions on Alcohol at State Park Beaches

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Big Creek State Park (WHO-HD)

Big Creek State Park (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources clarified an earlier press release Tuesday, saying it is not considering a ban on alcohol at all state beaches but rather seeking informal comment on what changes can be made to reduce the number of incidents involving alcohol at state park beaches.

Todd Coffelt, chief of the Iowa State Parks Bureau, was quoted in the release, saying the bureau has heard several concerns regarding alcohol consumption on park beaches that threaten the safety of the public and park personnel.

In a press release sent earlier Tuesday, the DNR originally announced a proposed ban that would prohibit alcohol on the sand or fenced-in area of the beach, the adjacent designated swimming area, and a 200-foot land buffer surrounding the area.

According to the DNR’s website, beer with a 5 percent or less alcohol content and wine with a 17 percent or less alcohol content are allowed at state parks and recreational areas.  Hard liquor is not allowed on any state park property.

DNR officials later announced in a second release that it is seeking informal comment on “what on what considerations should be made to reduce the number of incidents related to alcohol at state park beaches.” The DNR did not mention the proposed ban in the second release.

If you would like to leave a comment for the DNR call Jessica Manken at 515-725-8488 or e-mail The comment period will be open through December 21st.