Wrack no ruin: City

Kwinana Courier - - Opinion -

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.

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