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Byron Shire
December 9, 2021

Oily slick on Belongil is marine blue green algae

Latest News

More COVID cases Byron and Tweed Shires

ight new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Northern NSW Health District (NNSWHD) in the 24 hours to 8pm 7 December with Woody’s Surf Shack Night Club and Mullumbimby High School both known recent COVID venues.

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This Christmas I have decided to buy my friends and family experiences.  Experiences also don’t require the purchasing of ‘stuff’. And you don’t have to wrap the stuff in more useless stuff. I’m really trying to reduce the Christmas stuffing. I’m on what I call a ‘de-stuff’ diet. It’s hard, because I am one of those people who has been addicted to stuff. Experiences, if well chosen, can have a low carbon footprint. They can be stuffless.

Did you try to vote with iVote in the LGA elections?

The NSW Electoral Commission says they are aware that some iVote users were unable to gain access to the system to vote on Saturday.

Byron Farmers Market: parking

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Byron resident David Griffith took this photo of what looked like a toxic spill on Belongil Creek at Childe Street.

A concerned resident sent Echonetdaily a photo of what appeared to be a nasty, toxic sludge he saw on Belongil Creek last Monday. Questions to council found that the oily looking slick on the water’s surface is in fact a naturally occurring marine blue green algae or Trichodesmium.

Staff investigated the slick this week and took samples which were sent off for testing.

Chloe Dowsett, Council’s Biodiversity and Sustainability Coordinator, said while the film on the top of the water looks terrible, it is a natural event and important for the marine environment.

‘Marine blue green algae is naturally occurring and travels down the coast with the east Australian current during the summer months,’ said Ms Dowsett.

‘It sometimes gets trapped in our coastal creeks and because of its appearance people often think it is an oil spill or something toxic,’ she said.

‘This algae is often slimy and smells and can vary in colour from red, brown, green or cream.’

People should avoid swimming and not eat shellfish in areas that are affected by the algae.


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