In March of this year the public began to take notice of the great abundance of Heterosiphonia washing up on beaches in MA and RI. With beaches being the main attraction for tourists, as well as locals, in both states, the media has been covering the actions being taken concerning the alga as well as spreading information and reassuring the public that it is safe to enjoy the beach. The few articles written about the algae have been through Boston media, however two Brazilian internet media sources and one Italian news paper has reported on the spread of algae to New England.
Links to international articles: (http://www.jb.com.br/rio/noticias/2011/02/20/algas-que-tem-aparecido-nas-praias-nao-oferecem-riscos-aos-banhistas/
On June 27 2012, the Boston Globe covered the algal issue. The article thoroughly summarizes the relationship that Heterosiphonia has had with Massachusetts over the past few years from its discovery to the current questions town officials are having about management strategies. Another great aspect of this article is the timeline of discoveries and explanation of it potential to continually alter the state of our local marine ecosystems by our project’s advisor and Marine Science Center Assistant Professor, Dr. Mathew Bracken. Overall, this is a great article that focuses on understanding the potential harm and current need for research and attention and addressing pressing common question on this issue.
While most towns whose beaches are plagued with red algae have taken to more conventional methods of management such as raking the seaweed with beach combers and disposing of it, the town of Manchester has been seeking other methods of removal.
An article was written recently in The Gloucester Times about the town’s research into alternative methods of disposal. They are considering the use of the product Bio Remedy by the manufacturing company Texas Refinery Corp. This product was origionally intended to decrease the odor and increase the decomposition of large quantities of livestock manure. This product boasts that it is all natural and environmentally safe for vegetation and soil as well as not harmful to humans and animals. There is little information available to the public about this product and it “ingredients”. Yet, there is little written about any issues farmers have had with the product Bio Remedy as well.
From an environmental standpoint our biggest concern with the use of any product near open water or marine ecosystems is the issue of runoff and contamination. When foreign elements such as sewerage, pesticides or construction materials enter into either a contained body of water or an open body of water, like a river or an ocean, they risk affecting all of the trophic levels in that body of water from smallest bacterium to large megafauna, such as whales or commercially valuable fish.
Here is a link to the full article: (http://www.gloucestertimes.com/local/x748662737/Manchester-eyes-red-seaweed-remedy )