Iowa woman working to "Keep Okoboji blue" - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Iowa woman working to "Keep Okoboji blue"


When you think of a summer vacation, you might think of waters as blue as the sunny sky. That's especially true in the Iowa Great Lakes.

But over the years, some pollutants have made their way into the water. So, now, one woman is making it her goal to "Keep Okoboji Blue."

Summer time means plenty of time on the water for vacationers in the Iowa Great Lakes. But Deidre Rosenboom says these waters might not stay beautiful for long.

"I think this lake is actually a perfect lake because there are only three spring-water fed lakes in the world. So, this is a pretty sacred lake," said Rosenboom.

Keeping it that way could be pretty costly, though. Rosenboom hopes to raise $1 million this year for the Keep Okoboji Blue Endowment. It's an idea that she and her late husband had to keep the lake clear, and based on the number of tourists that visits the Lakes every year. Using city events like concerts near the waterfront is just the beginning of her efforts to spread the word.

"We're going to hopefully send that message to the state government and say, 'hey, clean water's important to us, it's our survival. It's our quality of life, it's our economy'," said Rosenboom.

Some technology would help her cause.

"We just always had this system of storm drains, to manage the storm water, but that would inject the pollution and sediment into the lake," said Rosenboom.

That led to cloudier water. One solution is adding rain gardens to help with drainage issues.

Right now, Arnolds Park has two rain gardens. And it hopes to add a third to the equation in the fall, which will help with the sand runoff into the lake. That newest one, valued at $13,000, would be near the amusement park. The city hopes to dedicate it in the memory of Rosenboom's husband, who died in a car accident two years ago.

The water pools in these gardens and is filtered out into an aquifer. Then, it's sent back into the lake, much cleaner than it had been. Even special sidewalks, like these that absorb the water are helping with the issues of run-off. And for Rosenboom, that'll be a benefit to everyone in the community.

"If the lake is not clean, the cash registers won't ring," said Rosenboom.

If you're interested in contributing to the project to keep Okoboji blue, here's a link to their web site.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KTIV Television Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Kathy Clayton at (712) 239-4100 x209. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at