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Red flag at 1 Saipan site; green flag on Rota

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(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzed water samples collected from Saipan's east and south recreational beaches as well as Rota's recreational beaches and storm drainages this week.

Samples collected from the following Saipan location contained excessive concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria or enterococci that exceeded CNMI marine water quality standards. These bacteria can indicate the presence of human and animal waste in the water.

However, studies have shown that storm water runoff in tropical environments may also contain these bacteria from the natural environment, which may not be directly associated with public health concerns.

Still, to adequately address public health concerns, BECQ has given the following Saipan location a red flag and advises the public not to fish or swim within 300 feet of the locations for the next 48 hours or until otherwise notified:

• Bird Island Beach

On Rota, bone of the samples collected contained excessive concentration of fecal indicator bacteria nor did they exceed CNMI marine water quality standards. Therefore, BECQ assigns all of Rota’s sampled beach sites a green flag.

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