From the Cordova Times: "Bacteria levels in Alaska’s waters remains low, according to the 19th annual beach water quality report released recently by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Cook Inletkeeper provided data for the report through support from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Alaska Clean Water Actions program. However, water at other beaches nationwide was seriously polluted and jeopardized the health of swimmers last year with the number of closing and advisory days at ocean, bay and Great Lakes beaches reaching more than 20,000 for the fourth consecutive year, according to the report.
"'Alaska is still fortunate to have relatively low population densities, and as a result, we’re not seeing the same impacts from bacterial pollution that we see in the Lower 48,' said Rachel Lord, monitoring and outreach coordinator for Cook Inletkeeper. 'But in Alaska, some locales — such as Homer — are doing a good job investing in their sewage treatment, where other areas in the state are not. And in those areas, we’re seeing the same lack of land-use planning and lagging investments in sewage treatment infrastructure that have caused bacteria problems in other states, so we need to stay vigilant.'
"Using data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NRDC’s report — 'Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches' — confirms that nationwide, our beach waters continue to suffer from serious contamination, including human and animal waste, that can make people sick."