Press Release

Iowa Division recognizes The Gazette's Brittney Miller for outstanding reporting on water quality


This week, the Iowa division of the Izaak Walton League of America presented the division’s Ries Tuttle Communication Award to Brittney Miller, an energy and environment reporter for The Gazette newspaper in Cedar Rapids. Miller is also a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues.

This award is presented to a person or organization that best exemplifies the goals of the Izaak Walton League by informing people of conservation needs and issues through various media including newspaper, radio, TV, lectures, photographs or social media. The League's Linn County Chapter nominated Miller for the award. 

Starting with her employment in July 2022, The Gazette has published numerous in-depth stories by Miller. Those well-researched and detailed articles focused on the quality of drinking water and factors that affect quality, whether nitrate or phosphorous run-off from farm fields and urban lawns, road salt and salt brine applied on roads and walkways or “forever chemicals” such as PFAS’s that result from factory discharges or use of fire-retardants. Her reporting also made many readers aware of the total maximum daily load (TMDL) requirement withdrawal for nitrates by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on the Cedar River. That article alone inspired many to respond to the DNR during the comment period.

Most recently, The Gazette hosted five, one-hour panel presentations with researchers and scientists. The March 20-25 week-long “Iowa Ideas In-depth Week” focused on water quality with more than 150 people participating in virtual discussions. Miller led two of the five sessions, on Iowa’s nutrient reduction strategy and emerging contaminants. The remaining three were led by her colleagues.

Miller, in her own biography, says, “as a kid, I couldn’t decide between being a writer or being a scientist. It wasn’t until college that I realized I could combine these passions through science journalism. After graduating from the University of Florida, I moved to the West Coast for the University of California, Santa Cruz’s Science Communication master’s program. And now, I’m thrilled to be serving The Gazette as a corps member for Report for America. I’m also a journalist on the Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk, a regional collaboration between 10 newsrooms that cover agriculture, water and related issues throughout the basin.” 

Ries Tuttle was a long-time outdoor editor and writer for the Des Moines Register and Tribune from 1933 to 1972. He was a member of the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League and served as the Iowa Division President from 1944 to 1946 and was a National Director. He was also an award-winning writer with the Outdoor Writers Association of America, which was organized at an Izaak Walton League convention in 1927. The award was created in 1989, one year after his passing

Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League of America is one of the most effective conservation organizations in the US with a long legacy of pioneering achievements in policy and law affecting clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat, agriculture and outdoor recreation.  

Contact: Michael Reinemer, Communications Director,, 301-548-0150, ext. 220

    • Conservation
    • Clean Water Act
    • Water pollution

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