Wrack no ruin: City
THE City of Rockingham has assured residents that rotting seaweed along a Safety Bay beach does not pose a health risk.
Safety Bay resident Tom Mannion raised concerns about the seaweed at Tuesday’s council meeting.
“An inspection of seaweed along Safety Bay foreshore highlights several hundred tonnes of seaweed along the beach preventing access to the water in most places and has been there since early December, with some areas over a metre high, so the short-term problem has been occurring for several months now,” he said.
“It has caused trip hazards to a number of the elderly walking their dogs along the beach.
“Residents that have lived in the area over 15 years will recall the council used to clean this stretch of coast.”
Mr Mannion was also concerned hydrogen sulphide produced from decomposing seaweed could pose a health risk.
However, a City of Rockingham spokesman said the seaweed was an important part of the local marine ecology.
At this time of the year, sea grass deposits, known as wrack, accumulate along the Warnbro Sound foreshore across many hundreds of square metres and occur in long, thin, lowlying piles.
“In a few areas, the accumulation is larger, particularly along the northern third of the beach. The City is aware of community and residents’ concerns regarding the possibility of hydrogen sulphide being generated by the wrack and the potential for it to impact on health,” the spokesman said.
“Hydrogen sulphide can be smelt at very low levels, well below the level where it causes any health effects, so simply smelling it is not a health issue.
“Based on the volume of wrack usually present in Warnbro Sound, the maximum level of hydrogen sulphide generated is extremely unlikely to pose any risk to human health.”
Seagrass build-up on Safety Bay Beach.