Going Green: Beach Carpet

The algae bloom headed to Qingdao for the last month finally carpeted the local shores and beaches just in time for peak tourist season. This particular blend of green is called enteromorpha prolifera. It cannot be used as food for humans and has an odor described as less than evergreen fresh. What’s a little algae among friends? The blanket of algae has not deterred beachcombers in Qingdao, who have boldly ventured forth into the great green gorp for fun in the sun. This in turn has been fed into the news cycle at home and abroad. Some samplings of the coverage below.

Slate tells of the battle Boy vs Algae

Children can find the joy in anything–even a massive expanse of slimy algae. ‘It is like the green grass. It feels so soft,’ Li Li, a child from Handan, an inland city in the northern Hebei Province, told the UK’s Daily Mail.

Daily Mail (UK) reports

Hardy Chinese beachgoers may have been hoping for white sand and crystal-clear seas when they took their summer holidays this year. But Qingdao residents have not let the freak algae bloom smothering their area put them off their sunbathing and swimming. The sea of green is at least 70 metres wide and 100 metres long, lying across Qingdao’s most popular beach and has dyed anything in its path a shocking bright green.

China Daily has photos and an update

People swim at the No 1 Bathing Beach where the water was filled with enteromorpha prolifera, a sea plant that reproduces rapidly, putting the swimmers at risk, in Eash China’s coastal city Qingdao, July 15, 2011. Several of the beaches in the city have been attacked by the green stuff for the past week and the clearing work is under way.

NY Daily News says

Algae bloom in Qingdao, China is a mystery that poses a threat to marine life and coastline tourism. It’s not a typical day at the beach for people living near the Qingdao coast. Residents hoping to catch some rays at China’s most popular beach, located in Shandong province in Eastern China, may want to re-consider taking a dip in the ocean to cool off. A substantial amount of algae called enteromorpha prolifera has invaded the waters and turned everything in its reach a bright green color.

Perez Hilton laments

Nasty Algae Envelops Chinese Beach: Eww! Children! What are you doing? These little kids must be channeling Finding Nemo’s Dory because algae or not, they just keep swimming. The green algae–known as enteromorpha prolifera–continues to spread along the waters of China’s eastern coastline of Qingdao. Though it’s not poisonous, it can hinder the fishing industry and tourism. Um, yah… It’s definitely not a tourist attraction.

Zhou Kun Algae Swim Qingdao

Relevant Links:
Holidaymakers on algae-covered beach
A Green Headache for E. China City
Going Green 2011: Algae on the Way

Image Credits @ Zhou Kun/China Daily (water waders), Xinhua (main)

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1 Comment

  1. Hell, nothing wrong with a little seaweed! I eat it all the time! Shampoo my hair with it, too. Swim in it? Hell yeah! Good for the epidermis, lungs, kidney function and immune system. And it’s *never* attacked me except in my wildest and darkest nightmares…

    So where’s the risk? Plus, green is my favorite color!

    Just another Western-generated sensationalist bring-down boogie-man China story if you ask me…

    Go Green and Erin go Bragh!

    Your intrepid Irish passport holder,


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