Substance washing ashore on east coast Coromandel beaches turns out to be sea grass
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Posted December 12, 2021
After complaints from beach goer Peter Collins that no action was being taken, Thames-Coromandel District Council and Waikato Regional Council issued a statement saying they were aware of a substance that washed ashore on several beaches on the east coast of the Coromandel.
They assessed the extent of the problem and said they will work to clean it up as soon as possible. An assessment of the substance was carried out to determine if it’s naturally occurring or man-made.
Coromandel MP Scott Simpson later posted that the material washing up on Coromandel beaches that looks suspiciously like shredded plastic was actually dead sea grass.
“Local people have been concerned about the material and certainly when it’s wet it has a look and feel of manmade plastic. But once it’s dried out it has an organic natural texture.
“This is a case of better to have been safe than sorry so I want to thank people for being alert to what may have been something far more serious than naturally occurring organic sea grass, “ Scott Simpson said.
The substance was first reported to be scattered along over a kilometre of Matarangi Beach after a recent king tide.
Local man Peter Collins organised a beach clean up attended by about 20 people. They picked up six rubbish bags of the debris along the beach.
The sea grass was then reported to be washing in at Whangapoa Beach, Matarangi Beach, Rings Beach, Opito Beach, Kuaotunu Beach, and Otama Beach, Whangamata and Waiheke Island.
Photos: Peter Collins