Given how we were attacked last summer by the DfI (formerly TTS) for being alarmist, we think its important to point out that the warnings (headlines) from this article in The Times aren’t ours and come from French toxicologists.
The article did not originate from our efforts. We responded to questions asked by The Times as accurately as we could without being alarmist.
In fact, we made a point of avoiding the leading question about harm to joggers by saying people would have to be pretty stupid to try jogging on the thick stuff up by the wall. If they did, they may break the crust and slip and injure themselves but that’s as far as it goes. (The same caveats apply to this piece in The Guardian.)
It will no doubt be seen by some that we issued a warning. We didn’t. It can’t be helped that’s the nature of the press and perceptions. We will no doubt be accused of harming the tourist industry by some parties locally.
In fact, as you know, we offered a potential solution three years ago… then two years ago and again last year. It was only last year that any interest has been shown and that’s only because the department was embarrassed by all the adverse (for them) media coverage.
Where sea lettuce forms in lumps (often like very long, lowish poly tunnels), the lettuce on top dies and dries (it usually goes white), but underneath the crust harmful gases accumulate as the sea lettuce rots.
All our previous posts on sea lettuce can be viewed here (in reverse order).
What we believe:
Sea lettuce in itself is not harmful – it can even be eaten.
Accumulation of sea lettuce is very slippery and makes walking along affected areas difficult and possibly dangerous (in terms of falling and being injured).
The sea lettuce assuredly does release sulphurous gases; these ‘rotten egg’ smells means local residents have to shut their windows in hot weather, tourists and locals complain, and local sea-side cafés suffer from a marked decrease in custom.
Bouncing on the piles of dried lettuce runs the risk of toxic gas escaping, so we recommend small children and dogs are kept from jumping on the dried mounds and possibly releasing the gas: children and dogs are much closer to the ground and could be affected before the wind disperses the gas.
Sea lettuce blooms have an adverse effect on the Bay’s ecosystem.
The pollution causing the sea lettuce also has an adverse affect on the Bay’s ecosystem.
Because of the high bacterial loads, we would not swim in the Bay (which we used to do happily), especially near the First Tower outflow and especially after the storm drains carrying untreated sewage has been discharged, if we had a cut or ran the risk if imbibing any of the water.
All our previous posts, with more detail on sea lettuce can be viewed here (in reverse order).