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AWC believes that environmentally healthy watersheds are a vital part of the high quality of life that we enjoy in Anchorage, and that the beautiful creeks of Anchorage need a group specifically dedicated to advocating for their health and well-being. We strive to reduce fecal coliform counts in Anchorage waterways by encouraging the responsible pet ownership practice of picking up after pets. Since dog feces are known to be a contributor to the impairment of water quality in many Anchorage creeks, facilitating the Scoop the Poop Committee is an integral part of the AWC mission. We address this through education and outreach at events and in local schools AWC also organizes Scoop the Poop Day! every April, and we work to provide funding for pet waste stations throughout the Municipality.
Why the concern?
Anchorage's Animal Care and Control estimates there are around 65,000 dogs currently residing in the Municipality. If we assume there is an average of 3/4 lb. of pet waste per dog daily, that means about 48,750 lbs. or ~24 tons are on the ground EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Where is it?
In our yards, on sidewalks and trails, in dog parks, and elsewhere. Stormwater (precipitation and yard runoff) carries it along until it reaches a storm drain which then runs UNTREATED into local creeks and lakes! The result is that all the urban waterways in the Anchorage "Bowl" are impaired by fecal coliform which can make humans and even their pets sick.
How do we fix this?
It's easy! ALWAYS clean up after your pet. Remember to carry a plastic bag when you're out with your dog, pick up after it, and dispose of it properly. Carry an extra bag to offer other pet owners if they need one. Keep pet waste picked up in your yard. Finally, get your kids involved. It's that simple!