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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 16, 2007

Iowa River pollution education and cleanup programs set Oct. 23, 28

The University of Iowa Civic Engagement Program will sponsor two events about Iowa River pollution as part of its "Environmental Impact . . . Go Green Iowa" initiative: an educational program on Tuesday, Oct. 23, and a riverbank cleanup on Sunday, Oct. 28.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in the Illinois Room of the Iowa Memorial Union, Nathan Lein, a water program legal analyst for the Iowa Environmental Council, will explain why he nominated the Iowa River as one of "America's Most Endangered Rivers." The environmental group American Rivers later designated the Iowa River as the third most endangered river in the United States.

Lein joined the Iowa Environmental Council in 2006. He works remotely from Oelwein where he is also the assistant county attorney for Fayette County. His future goals include continuing to improve water quality in Iowa and making the state a known destination for water recreation.

The second program will take place on "Make A Difference Day," Sunday, Oct. 28. "After hearing about the pollution issues of the Iowa River, the community can actually take action to help solve the problem," said Mary Mathew Wilson, coordinator of the Civic Engagement Program.

During "Make A Difference Day" the Civic Engagement Program will focus on three volunteer events on the Iowa River in the Iowa City area:

-- From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the City of Iowa City, Johnson County Conservation Board, and UI Recreation Services will team up with the Civic Engagement Program to help collect and remove debris from the Iowa River. This Iowa River Canoe Cleanup is open to a limited number of people with strong canoeing experience. For more information contact the Civic Engagement Program at 319-335-7589 or

-- From 2 to 4 p.m. the River Bank Cleanup will be held at the River Terrace behind the Iowa Memorial Union. Volunteers will help with litter cleanup along the banks of the Iowa River. This volunteer opportunity will count toward the 10,000 Hours Show's concert ticket. This event is also a Students United volunteer opportunity.

-- The Water Quality Snapshot of the Iowa River will begin at 2 p.m. at the River Terrace behind the Iowa Memorial Union. Lynette Seigley of the Iowa Department of National Resources will lead volunteers in water sampling from six bridges that span the UI campus. Volunteers will see if and how water quality changes as it passes through the campus. This event will not exceed two hours.

For additional information on these volunteer opportunities, visit or contact the Civic Engagement Program at 319-335-7589,

The Civic Engagement Program strengthens students' learning opportunities by linking the university's teaching, research, and service mission to community needs through service. For more information, visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Mary Mathew Wilson, Civic Engagement Program, 319-335-7589,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,; Writer: Jennifer Ferm