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Pilot scheme to tackle sea lettuce

24 June 2019

​Officers have begun piloting a scheme to tackle the build-up of the green algae, which can build up in large clumps and release a foul smell. The trial involves testing two new elements of sea lettuce management:

  • a new method of collecting sea lettuce using a modified rake which sensitively collects the sea lettuce and reduces the amount of water collected, and
  • the transportation of the sea lettuce to the Green Waste Site at La Collette where controlled tests are being undertaken to see if it can be successfully composted along with other green waste
Since the trial started last month, more than 165 tons of sea lettuce have been collected from the shallow pool left in St Aubin’s Bay.

Officers from Growth, Housing and Environment have been working together on the plan.
Robert Major, Assistant Manager Highways and Beaches, said: “Our primary objective is to reduce the impact of the sea lettuce on the beach by removing it before it makes the high tide mark.
“Research shows that the small amount of early season sea lettuce is what gives rise to the much larger summer blooms, so we started harvesting as soon as the lettuce appeared. We hope that by reducing the sea lettuce now it might prevent a big build up.”

The trial will continue throughout the summer, at the end of which it will be reviewed.

Deputy Kevin Lewis, Minister for Infrastructure, said: “I am really pleased that officers have identified this new method of sea lettuce collection and I hope the trial proves successful. It has certainly been a promising start. We have been trying so hard over the years to improve the situation but a lot depends on what nature throws at us.”
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