Kennebunkport has participated in the Maine Healthy Beach Program since 2003. There are 28 Maine communities participating. This federally funded program was established to ensure that swim beaches across the nation are as free as possible of bacteria that cause illness. Under the guidance of the EPA it has been determined that a salt water sample level of over 104 Enterococci per teaspoon can cause, gastro-intestinal issues, rashes, eye and ear irritations. Enterococci is a flag bacteria for fecal contamination.
From Memorial Day through Labor Day Kennebunkport Public Health trained staff and volunteers conduct weekly testing at Goose Rocks Beach and Colony Beach. If water samples are elevated over 104, retests are conducted until the samples reach acceptable levels. With elevated bacteria levels the beaches affected will be posted with a "contamination advisory", which says "bacteria levels may be unsafe. Water contact is not advised."
Kennebunkport has also established posting a "rainfall advisory" for the beaches after a rainfall of 1 inch or more in a 24 hour period has occured. This Advisory is in place for two tidal cycles. Research has shown that an increase of domestic and wildlife fecal material is being flushed down our rivers and streams to where the mouth of our rivers meet the ocean during this period.
Help us keep the beaches of Kennebunkport safe and enjoyable for all.