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Monitoring of Ketchikan Beaches Begins in May 18th


May 17, 2020
Sunday PM

(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the start of the 4th bacteria monitoring season at 12 coastal beaches in Ketchikan. 
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The Ketchikan Beach Program is part of a statewide program which tests marine water samples weekly to evaluate bacteria levels from May 18 through mid-September. The program evaluates potential health risks as indicated by fecal coliform and enterococci bacteria, and notifies the public when levels exceed state standards. Past years of bacteria monitoring have shown elevated levels of bacteria along the Ketchikan coastline from several potential sources, including private and public sewer treatment systems, individual septic tanks, wildlife, pet feces, ferries, and private and commercial vessels. 

Beach goers can stay informed on the Ketchikan Beach Program website, where they will find answers to questions like: Which beaches have elevated bacteria levels? When was the last sample? What precautions can I take to keep my family more safe at the beach? How can I stay informed?

The DEC website now has an at-a-glance interactive map showing the beaches as red or green, and the most recent test results. Check out monitoring reports and press releases, and sign up to get beach updates emailed directly to you.  

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation posts weekly updates on DEC and Ketchikan Events Facebook pages, and is working with Ketchikan radio to provide a short daily reminder to visit the Ketchikan Beach website before heading to the beach. Stay safe while playing at the beach this summer!

The BEACH sampling program is funded and implemented by the Department of Environmental Conservation. It is part of a nationwide effort to decrease the incidence of water-borne illness at public beaches under the federal Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act.

Water samples have been collected by the Ketchikan Indian Community and the Southeast Watershed Coalition at Ketchikan beaches since 2017.



On the Web:

2020 Ketchikan Beaches - Alaska DEC Beach Advisories Map


Edited By Mary Kauffman, SitNews

Source of News:

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

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