Nature at work unsightly - beach bloom disappears

Mother Nature has taken her course as an unsightly red algal bloom that washed up on Ruakaka Beach has cleared naturally.

Consents and monitoring senior programme manager for the Northland Regional Council (NRC) Colin Dall said the algal bloom was likely to be non-toxic and naturally occurring, therefore the NRC would not step in to remove the bloom.

He said blooms like these were usually caused by sudden, massive growth in microscopic plant and animal life.

They were more likely to occur over the summer and come in many colours, from bright red and orange to browns and greens.

As they break down naturally they can become smelly, he said.

The NRC did not take samples, so could not absolutely confirm that the bloom was non-toxic.

"It is probably a similar bloom to one that occurred on Ruakaka Beach earlier this year," he said.

Nearby, Waipu Cove was the scene of an algal bloom that rotted, releasing a foul stench earlier this year.

The river filled with algae last December and insufficient drainage left it stagnant and rotting. It turned black and let off a sewage-like smell.

Whangarei District Council received complaints about the smell in January, and on February 8 applied for a resource consent to dredge.

Contractors dredged the river to remove the trapped and rotting algae in March.

- Northern Advocate

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