Byron Bay’s picturesque beaches have been smothered in a blanket of ‘cornflake’ seaweed which is taking an unusually long time to dissipate.
The common algae, which normally washes back out to sea, is refusing to budge after weeks of dogged northerly winds, ruining the normally pristine coastline.
But while it might look awful and be a turn off for tourists, the local council insists the weed is completely harmless and said there are no plans for a clean-up.
The algae is making it difficult for locals and tourists to swin in the once beautiful clear blue water near Byron Bay
Strong winds have meant the algae hasn’t been washed back out to sea
Local resident Savaad Wells described his ghastly experience swimming among the sludge.
‘I had difficulty seeing may hands under the water, but I could see as far as my elbow,’ he told ABC News.
‘The flaky cornflake thing, it sort of hits your face like pins and needles’ he said.
Chloe Dowsett, who is the coastal coordinator with Byron Bay Council said that there were no nasty health implications for swimmers, it’s just ‘not very nice’.
She said the seaweed normally clears up on its own, and plays an important role in a healthy marine ecosystem.
‘The weed that gets over onto the beaches, it breaks down and becomes lots of food for all the critters like crabs … and all the tiny little creatures that actually live in sand.’
While it might look unsightly, the algae is a valuable food source for crabs