THE blue-green algae outbreak at Raymond Terrace’s Newline Road Wetland and Ross Walbridge Reserve has had a devastating effect on the local wildlife, with many species of waterfowl succumbing to effects caused by the blue-green algae bloom.
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Unfortunately, whilst looking for something or someone to blame, this is just simply a side of Mother Nature that we are not used to.
The lack of rainfall has given the blue-green algae conducive conditions for growth and therefore rainfall is the only sure way of eradicating the bloom.
“Unfortunately, the algae is naturally occurring and pretty difficult to manage,” West Ward Councillor Giacomo Arnott told News Of The Area.
“I’ve been in constant contact with Council’s environmental team who assure me that management plans are being put in place.”
Blue-green algae can cause severe stomach upsets, nausea and skin irritation in both people and animals.
Animals especially can become very sick as a result of drinking contaminated water.
Therefore, Port Stephens council is urging all residents to be vigilant.
Signposts have been erected around the contaminated sites warning people to ensure they keep their children and pets away from the water.
“I encourage all to follow the signposted warnings and act sensibly,” Councillor Arnott said.
“This is a sad event but it will pass with time and with rain.”
Until the rain comes however, the affected area will continue to be hazardous, which means more wildlife will succumb to effects caused by the algae.
According to Councillor Arnott, Port Stephens Council has been to the site to assess the situation and will continue to do so until the pond is back to its former glory.
“Council is cleaning up the area when needed and I’ve already ensured this has happened once,” Councillor Arnott said.
Once the wetlands are healthy again, it is important to remember a couple of simple rules that will help the native ducks and wildlife get back on their feet.
Despite public opinion, bread is a terrible food to feed them.
Instead, it is recommended that we use chopped lettuce, watermelon, tomato or grated carrot.
The ducks will be around for a lot longer if you do.
By Rachael VAUGHAN