Scientists to resume testing for fecal bacteria off Kenai

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KENAI, Alaska (AP) - Scientists will resume testing the waters off Kenai beaches to see if efforts aimed at reducing fecal bacteria have been working.

The Peninsula Clarion reports fecal coliform and enterococci, which grow in the intestines of most animals, have been found to exceed the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation's standards for several summers in the area.

The conservation nonprofit Kenai Watershed Forum, who conducted previous testing on behalf of the department, found that gulls were the major contributor of the bacteria, which is often found alongside more harmful pathogens.

The city of Kenai began requiring dipnetters in 2013 to toss fish waste into the water or remove it from the beach.

Department environmental program specialist Jeanne Swartz says the testing will see if those efforts were successful in reducing the bacteria.

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