How healthy is the water in Anchorage creeks, streams and lakes?

Potter Marsh
Water is life, for fish, birds, humans—all living creatures. How healthy is the water in Anchorage’s backyard playgrounds? (Potter Marsh photo by Cherie Northon)

Ah, spring! And right on its heels, a glorious Alaska summer, we hope.

This is the time of year when we peel off an armor of winter jackets, hats and boots—ready to feel that sun on our backs and faces.

We go outdoors to play hard, whether that’s a dip in a local lake, paddling around in canoes and kayaks, or exercising our dogs with games of swim-and-fetch.

And I didn’t even mention fishing, often more important than sleep when the reds are running.

What these loved activities all have in common is water—which we assume is clean and fresh. We live in Alaska, right? With pristine environments that our Lower 48 cousins only dream about.

Well, let’s test that assumption. This Wednesday on Hometown Alaska, we’ll feature two water-savvy scientists who can give us a report card on Anchorage’s local recreational waters, creeks, streams and lakes.

How healthy are they? What’s helping and what’s challenging their stability? What can Alaskans do to keep them fish-friendly?

Little Campbell Creek
Typical view walking along Little Campbell Creek. (Photo by Cherie Northon)

Cherie Northon, the executive director for Anchorage Waterways Council (AWC), and Tim Stevens, a representative from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, will join host Kathleen McCoy to discuss what’s behind swimmer’s itch, fecal coliform from dog poop, the impacts of sediment and the benefits of vegetation in and around our area waterways.

Creek Cleanup this year is May 18, sponsored by the AWC and the Anchorage Parks Foundation, including a community celebration at the Cuddy Family Park near the Loussac Library from noon-3 p.m.

Learn what you need to know about the water you’ll play in all summer. We welcome your questions and concerns, so give us a call at 550-8433 and join the conversation.


In the studio

  • Cherie Northon, executive director, Anchorage Waterways
  • Tim Stevens, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation



  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)

HOST: Kathleen McCoy

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, May 15, 2013. 2:00 – 3:00 pm (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, May 15, 2013. 7:00 – 8:00 pm (Alaska time)

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kmccoy (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | About Kathleen

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