DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is wishing everyone a safe Labor Day Weekend with some helpful tips for anyone planning to be on the water.
According to a release from the DNR, officials are expecting thousands of Iowans to visit state parks and waterways over the weekend.
For anyone planning on boating or camping over the weekend, there are some bodies of water where people are not advised to swim.
The Iowa DNR states that four beaches in the northwest part of the state are in the “swimming not recommended” warning. Crandalls Beach, Gull Point Beach, Emerson Bay Beach in Dickinson County, and North Twin Lake East Beach in Calhoun County are all in that warning.
Officials say all of those beaches’ water samples exceed standards for e coli.
Check out boating tips these tips:
- Avoid peak hours and large crowds of boaters
- Do not park in the grass or in prohibited areas.
- Do not drink while operating a boat. Wind, sun glare, and heat can enhance the effects of alcohol.
- Wear a life jacket. It is required in Iowa to have enough life jackets aboard for each passenger. Anyone under 13 is required to wear a life jacket at all times. USCG-approved throw-able flotation devices are also required on vessels that are 16 feet or longer.
- Make sure there is a fire extinguisher on board, along with a working horn or whistle.
- Avoid dams and other hazards on waterways.
- Obey all warning signs and rules.
- Drain plugs and other draining devices must be removed or remain open during transport to avoid the spread of invasive species.
For anyone planning on hitting the beach and going swimming, check out these tips:
- Keep children at arm’s reach at all times.
- Drowning is silent. Iowa’s public beaches do not have lifeguards on duty.
- learn how to perform CPR.
- Avoid alcohol while swimming. Alcohol may be prohibited at some beaches.
- Glass bottles are prohibited on beaches.
- Stay within the roped area of the lake.
- Obey posted signs and flags.
- Swim with a buddy.
- Use Sunscreen and drink a lot of water.
- Check bacteria levels at state park beaches here.
The release notes that due to increased visitors, park staff may close parking lots when they become full.
For anyone planning on camping, check out these tips:
- Pack a lot of snacks, food, water, and personal hygiene products.
- Stay hydrated.
- Don’t hike alone and ensure that you have some way to communicate in the event you get lost.
- Wear proper attire for being outdoors and hiking.
- Use non-peak times, which is usually in the mornings or evenings.
- Buy firewood locally.
- Be respectful of the campers around you.
- Slow down on roadways. Obey posted speed limit signs. Watch for families walking or biking on the roads.
- Keep the parks clean. Pick up and carry out any trash you bring into the park. Do not burn trash.
- Check the DNR website for the latest closures.
- Make sure your fishing license is up-to-date.