I was at a habitat meeting today for the Kenai River Special Advisory Board and was informed that DEC is planning to sample hydrocarbons only at RM 10 in 2008 and only for one weekend and Tuesday around 20 July.
They are not going to sample below the PU fishery or at the bridge.
If this is true DEC is being totally irresponsible relative to protecting the Kenai River. The rationale is that they can sample at RM10 and if the levels are below the standard they can remove RM 10-20 from the impaired river status and leave the lower river in impaired status.
Why would an agency do this? Is it not in everyone's interest to know what the recent regulations have done? For example, not sampling at RM 5 or 1.5 does not allow one to evaluate the upriver DNR regulations from the BOF downstream regulations. What is the recent regulations are not working - would not a resource agency want to know that? Maybe the anti- Pebble mine people are correct - the State of Alaska is incapable of protecting the public or the resources of this state.
I want to urge all user groups to write to the Gov and complain about this sampling approach - the future of the Kenai River depends on clean water and we should know from sampling that the river is clean - not some press release made up by DEC.
Also, sampling at RM 10 only is above the present chinook salmon fishery and therefore not a representative sample of what is happening in the river. This just makes no sense unless one just does not want to know.
Cost cannot be a factor since we are talking a small amount of money and DEC should have budgeted it in their request for 2008 funds.
anyway thought you should know what is happening. This is a point where KRSA, KAFC, KPGA, UCIDA, KPFA, and other groups can unite. Lets do it for the river.