Thursday, 28 August 2008

China Vs. The Green Slime!

Perhaps the single most impressive thing about this year's Olympics was the massive effort put forward to fight a particularly beautiful bright green algae bloom on the shores of Qingdao, a city site for event sailing competition. Press reports detail a million tons of the stuff, covering one-third of the surface area, was removed after a month's work by a team of upwards of 2000 boats, and some 30,000 students, volunteers and soldiers.

King Knut himself might have been impressed, I daresay.

Other tactics to wipe out the slime included simultaneous construction of two 20,000 metre 'goo gate' barriers, preventing algae from floating into the sailing venue proper, as well as regular ship patrols to monitor for future algal concerns. The green stuff is reportedly being shipped to farms for pigs and other animals to munch on, although I've also seen photos of it being left to rot in huge piles so I dunno. Don't they know that's cash in the bank?

Special props for this post must go out to the Guardian (who had the best seaweed porn gallery on the interwebs) and the AP photographers who shot all this messy majesty in the first place. Some video reports here and here.

And speaking of props, how cool is this? Not very at all from an ecological point of view I understand, but as knickknacks go, it's pretty nifty I'd say.

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