A “Don’t Feed the Birds” campaign seems to be making a difference when it comes to the duck pond at Cuddy Park.


Thom Eley with the Anchorage Waterways Council said levels of fecal coliform, the bacteria that comes from bird feces, is normally sky-high this time of year, but two recent tests show the levels have dropped dramatically.


“I thought it was a fluke at first,” said Eley, so we tested again and basically got the same numbers.”


Eley said just a year ago he was finding 8,100 colonies of fecal bacteria per 100 milliliters of water. The most recent test last week showed just 32 colonies per 100 milliliters of water, a dramatic difference.


Eley said he believed a campaign that included signs on city buses, bank restoration around the pond as well as new fencing has made a difference. He said the numbers of both ducks and geese have gone down because people aren’t feeding them as frequently and they aren’t lingering in the pond.


“I’m sure we will never have 100 percent compliance, but I think it’s made a difference and I think our waterways in town are so important to our way of life that you hate to see any of them in a bad way.”


Even though the water is much cleaner Eley added a caution: he said he wouldn’t recommend that people play or swim in it.