July 4, 2015--Officials plan to curb poop (Durango Herald)

Just months ago, natural-resource specialist Melissa May generated headlines after telling a group of La Plata County residents that science overwhelmingly shows that humans had pooped in the Animas and San Juan Rivers. Her discussion at the Durango Public Library literally was titled, “Who Pooped in the River?” Now, officials are working with local groups to curb the presence of human poop in the La Plata and San Juan County rivers after May’s microbial analysis showed that they contain significant levels of bacteria indicating the presence of human feces. Water samples from the Animas and San Juan rivers contained bacteria associated with both animal and human waste over the course of a two-year study. But human feces polluted the rivers most, The Durango Herald recently reported. The water-sample results were released in late February by the San Juan Watershed Group and the San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District. The local groups teamed up to hold three public outreach meetings about the poop problem. The last one was Monday, The Daily Times reported Saturday. They are now working to complete a Lower Animas Watershed Base Plan by the fall, which will help them attract cleanup funding from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The plan “basically shows that you’ve identified a problem,” May said. It also shows broad and narrow ways the agencies plan to resolve the problem, she said. To view the full article visit Durango Herald.