Sea­weed is es­sen­tial

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK -

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.

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