A beach-smothering algae which has turned Mahia residents green with frustration rather than envy will probably be left to disappear naturally.
The thick green algae, which scientists say is similar to one that threatened to disrupt water events at the Beijing Olympics two years ago, has washed ashore at Mahia Beach for a decade, although locals say it has worsened in the past two years. Scientists identified it as a species of cladophora - a surface-floating growth which is a form of seaweed.
After coming ashore, and after beginning to dry out, it expands into a sticky cotton wool-like substance. The algae is not toxic.
Mahia resident Bill Shortt said the eyesore and nuisance factors had frustrated locals. The summer heat used to account for much of the algae - rendering it to dust which mixed in with the sand but, in the past two to three years, the volume arriving had proved too much. "It'll be worse in winter."
The Hawke's Bay Regional Council, which has been working in with the Wairoa District Council, has no plans to remove the algae.