Two Tinian beaches red-flagged


The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality has raised the red flag on two beaches on Tinian—the Unai Masalok and Leprosarium I—and advises the public not to fish or swim within 300 feet of these locations for the next 48 hours or until otherwise notified.

BECQ said that samples collected from these locations contained excessive concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria (enterococci) that exceeded the 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,” BECQ said in a statement. “[However], in order to adequately address public health concerns, BECQ has given [these] locations a red flag.”

BECQ analyzed water samples collected from 10 locations on Tinian’s recreational beaches this week.

Meanwhile, BECQ also analyzed water samples collected from Saipan’s recreational western beaches and storm drainages as part of a regularly scheduled sampling program and none of the samples collected from Saipan’s west beaches contained excessive concentration of fecal indicator bacteria nor did they exceed the CNMI Marine Water Quality Standards and are therefore assigned a green flag.

BECQ analyzed samples of marine recreational and storm drainage water from 36 locations on the west side of Saipan this week.

BECQ welcomes all inquiries as to the quality of the beach water. The public is encouraged to contact BECQ at 286-1054 with any questions. Marine Water Quality Reports are also provided at Interested individuals and organizations can also receive email notifications of the weekly marine water quality reports. To do so, send an email to

Saipan Tribune
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