Lakes: Some of Iowa’s most valuable resources
The busiest place in Iowa on July 4 is likely the two-lane section of Hjighway 71 between East and West Okoboji lakes, choked with cars, when the population of Dickinson County swells from 16,696 of year-round residents to an estimated 120,000 who come to the area for one reason: the Iowa Great Lakes.
Iowans are willing to drive hours to recreate on lakes with the best water quality, and will visit lakes closest to home for a quick week night or weekend trip to wet a hook. Visiting Iowa lakes is good for business, too.
The most recent study by Iowa State University’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development estimates that Iowans spend $1.6 billion annually to recreate at lakes, and with the number of lake restoration projects underway, that amount is likely to increase.
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