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Last summer the news was full of deadly algae washing ashore on the Brittany coast of France. It was disturbing to read about toxic fumes (potentially) killing a worker who was removing it. Dogs have been reported dying after interaction with this algae. In another incident, a horse died in seconds while the rider was saved on the beach of Saint-Michel-en-Grève.
From The Seattle Times:
On July 28, Petit, 28, a researcher in a state-run virology lab, had just finished riding his thoroughbred Sir Glitter, a retired racehorse, on the Saint-Michel-en-Grève beach, when the two were mired in muck as he led the horse on foot.
"The horse and I slid in," said Petit, who is also trained in veterinary studies. Petit said he watched as his horse stopped breathing and died within about 30 seconds, and then he himself passed out. Petit was pulled from the mire by a bulldozer shovel after a man who witnessed the accident gave the alert.
The algae are not said to be dangerous in the sea but release toxic fumes when they rot on the beach. Researchers warn that inhaling the fumes can prove fatal within a matter of minutes.
Brittany is a beautiful agricultural region in France with a coastline that defines the territory. Flat beaches, sunlight, and shallow waters along with chemical and natural fertilizers loaded with nitrates and phosphorous (that have been used on the land for many years) evidently create the perfect conditions for the deadly algae. The perfect algae storm is ready and waiting on Brittany's Cote d'Armor, but this is happening in numerous other places around the world.
We are killing our oceans, and what will we do when they are used up and polluted beyond redemption?
In the video below, Coral reef ecologist Jeremy Jackson "lays out the shocking state of the ocean today: overfished, overheated, polluted, with indicators that things will get much worse. Astonishing photos and stats make the case." In this TED video, he speaks of this algae. He informs us that even seabirds flying over become asphyxiated and die.
I strongly encourage you to take the time to watch his talk.
We must pay attention to save our oceans. We want our children to continue to enjoy the coastline of Brittany as well as the seas that nourish us and refresh our souls.
For God's sake, we must save our oceans!
What do you think? Please comment.
---Beth Arnold in Paris