Each year, the Iowa Environmental Council hosts Pro H2O, their largest event to celebrate and advocate for clean recreational and drinking water in Iowa. On September 16, Iowans from across the state gathered in person in Des Moines and at satellite locations in Cedar Falls, Oxford, Toddville, and Spirit Lake, as well as online for a streaming program.

Host and emcee David Thoreson, Iowa-based photographer and Arctic explorer, lead the program, featuring live music, updates on IEC program initiatives, and an annual awards presentation. Four Iowans were honored this year for their contributions to the work of protecting and improving water quality in the state.

Youth Leadership

This year’s Youth Leadership award recipient is Angela Mesenbrink, an educator at Storm Lake High School who leads the Advanced Ecology Course, a year-long class for students to get hands on, project-based learning focused on watershed improvements.

Impact Through Advocacy

The 2021 Impact Through Advocacy award was presented to Sikowis Nobiss of the Great Plains Action Society. As a Plains Cree/Saultaux and member of the George Gordan Nation, she has inspired, advocated, and uplifted the voices of her people in her advocacy efforts at the local, statewide, and national level in her goals to protect land and water.

Business Innovation

IEC’s Business Innovation award goes to Continuum Ag, a Washington, Iowa-based company founded by ISU graduate Mitchell Hora. Continuum Ag’s soil health approach is delivering water quality improvements as they also work to return and improve soil health for farmers in Iowa, the U.S. and the world.

Lifetime Achivement

Our 2021 Lifetime Achievement award recipient is Allen Bonini, retired DNR Watershed Improvement Section Supervisor. During his 15 years with the DNR, Allen has been a great friend and partner to IEC, as well as a tireless protector of water in our beautiful state.