(Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health)
Hoonah is a beautiful and historic place, however being on an island in Southeast Alaska creates many unique changes and challenges.
A huge change to Hoonah was the introduction of tourism and with that came cruise ships and the massive influx of people and the waste they bring with them. Having 1 to 3 cruise ships worth of tourists in our community doubles to triples the population of Hoonah and puts a massive strain on our waste treatment facility and landfill; adding to the impact is cruise ships dumping grey water within Port Fredrick often while they are tied to our docks.
Based on the numbers and what the community have observed there is a perceived issue with fecal matter within Port Fredrick, and the waters directly surrounding our traditional harvesting grounds, and recreational beaches. Partnering with Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition (SAWC) and receiving funding from Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) through their BEACH program we seek to collect baseline data of the actual amounts of fecal bacteria and provide the community with answers and a system for displaying the results from the water samples as we get them giving the community as close as we can get to real time status of the beaches in Hoonah.
We have and will continue to collect water samples from two (2) Tier 1 beaches in Hoonah. Samples will be analyzed in
a DEC-approved laboratory for presence of fecal coliforms and Enterococci. The goal of this project is to gather enough data to determine whether these beaches are meeting the water quality standards for fecal coliforms and enterococci based on single sample and/or geometric mean calculations. Weekly monitoring results will be posted on the DEC Beach Program Webpage and
distributed to key stakeholders through a listserv.
Our Monitoring program will take us through 2022. If you would like to find out more about how we perform these sampling tests or why, you can use the link below. This link also includes up to date data of samples we have already taken from our Hoonah Sites.
Hoonah BEACH FAQ
Hoonah BEACH QAPP
Hoonah BEACH Handbook