IWILL Coalition statement: We must “continue the conversation” following passage SF 512

Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy (IWILL) Coalition issued the following statement regarding passage of Senate File 512 by the Iowa House of Representatives:

“We appreciate the Legislature’s continued attention to water quality, but this effort is incomplete. There remains much more work to be done. The cost of the nutrient reduction strategy is estimated at over $4 billion and Iowa needs immediate, substantial, dedicated funding and a collaborative watershed approach to adequately implement that strategy.

“We share the Governor’s assessment, made just weeks ago during the Condition of the State address, that passage of water quality legislation does not end discussion, but rather ‘ignites the conversation to scale and implement practices that will continue to make an impact on water quality.’

“Iowans are not only ready for that conversation, but they are ready for a long-term solution. In 2010, 63 percent of voters established the National Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. Recent polling has found support for clean water, productive agricultural soils and thriving wildlife habitats through funding the Trust has only grown over the last eight years. Among likely Iowa voters, 83 percent support the Trust Fund; 69 percent support raising the sales tax 3/8 of a penny to fund the Trust, and that includes 52% of self-identified conservative Republicans; and 88 percent describe pollution of rivers, lakes and streams as a serious problem in Iowa.

“The long-term needs, as well as the immediate $670 million unmet needs the IWILL Coalition identified in shovel-ready water quality, outdoor recreation and conservation projects in every corner of Iowa, can still be addressed this session by making funding the Trust a key component of ongoing tax reform discussions.

Our Coalition will continue to work with all parties to fund the Trust. Together, we can find a long-term solution for our families, our lands and our economy.”

The leadership of the IWILL Coalition is comprised of leaders from the American Heart Association, Ducks Unlimited, Iowa’s County Conservation Boards, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Iowa Soybean Association, Pheasants Forever and The Nature Conservancy in Iowa.