Brown beach foam was just algae, says Environment
Environment Agency has confirmed that a large quantity of brown
washed up along Burnham's tideline last week was just harmless
concerned residents contacted Burnham-On-Sea.com after spotting
the foam along a stretch of the beach just south of Burnham's
lighthouse on the evening of Monday June 20th.
reported it to The Environment Agency who investigated. Spokesman
Dave Sharp said: "The scum photographed on the beach at Burnham
is likely to be the result of Phaeocystis pouchetii, a very common
algae in our coastal waters."
added: "The algae form a brown frothy scum which during windy
weather can accumulate on the strand line in large 'rafts', before
breaking down into an unpleasant slime. On the day the photo was
taken there was a strong on-shore breeze which was whipping the
sea up, so this probably explains this accumulation."
routinely monitor the sea at Burnham for compliance with the European
Bathing Water Directive. If any foam is noticed during sampling,
we will as a matter of course take a sample for analysis."
Burnham beach is clean again now and none of the algae has been
spotted since - with many swimmers enjoying cooling dips in the
sea during recent days.
Burnham-On-Sea beach guide