DES MOINES, Iowa – With Earth Day around the corner, lawmakers and Iowans met to talk environmental policy at the Statehouse Thursday.
“Climate Day at the Capitol” brought in a handful of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as environmental groups and advocates to talk policy and how to make Iowa a greener, cleaner state.
Of course, the issue of water quality was a hot topic. Representatives from Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy (IWILL) stressed the importance of boosting the state’s natural resources and outdoor recreation trust fund, which needs more funding in order to begin water clean-up projects throughout the state.
But some lawmakers, while supportive of these kinds of measures, urged patience from the public on these issues.
“We’ve got a major problem; things people need to remember is Des Moines’ lawsuit is in the courts,” said State Senator David Johnson (R-Ocheyedan). “And then, we’re the number two contributor to the dead zone in the Gulf, among the upper Midwestern states that are in the Mississippi River Valley. I mean these are huge deals. And it’s going to take a long time to address them.”
Today’s event followed a separate event this morning at the State Capitol, where over 100 state religious leaders signed a statement on climate change and the importance to enact state policy that can help stop it.