Seaweed is essential
I REFER to Leona Brown’s letter in the Gazette on March 22 suggesting Four Mile Beach should be cleaned of seaweed on a weekly basis.
Firstly, council investigated this issue in 2009 and decided not to pursue the removal of seaweed as the practice is widely condemned for environmental reasons.
Some of these reasons are that the seaweed helps to prevent beach erosion by stabilising sand in dune areas and it supplies nutrients that can be utilised by near-shore plant and animal communities.
Seaweed is an important part of any beach ecology and I doubt that the environmental science has changed.
Apart from the environmental concerns of removing seaweed, the cost of such an exercise would be enormous and I can think of many more worthy projects for our rate money.
Further to that, the suggestion of throwing opened coconuts back into the bush “to help regenerate the foreshore” does not make sense as they would simply smother any existing vegetation.
While I agree that littering on the beach is an issue, perhaps Ms Brown could encourage her guests to take a rubbish bag with them to the beach so they could pick up any litter, thereby helping to keep Four Mile clean and healthy.
Finally, there are far greater threats to Four Mile, and our other beaches, than some naturally occurring and ecologically necessary seaweed.
Problems associated with illegal clearing, erosion and invasive species need to be properly addressed and the Cairns Regional Council should adopt a comprehensive beach management plan which incorporates the previous Douglas shire coconut management policy as a matter of priority.
Kempton every success in his new role.