A tropical algae is threatening the beauty of the coral reefs in the Papagayo region. This particular algae thrives on fertilizers form golf courses and poorly treated sewage. The green, feather like algae is blocking the sunlight from the reefs causing them to suffocate. The area that is affected is a very popular scuba diving spot and home to many rare species of coral.
The heavy construction due to the overwhelming tourism boom and the palm lined beaches are creating nitrogen and phosphate rich waste that has also fed the algae problem.
Research has shown that 80% of the 2km reef area is covered by this algae and the problem has been reported as a disaster to the government. As of now the University of Costa Rica is handling the problem. The main issue is trying to find a way to get rid of this pesky and damaging algae, because if you pull it up it will only grow that much faster. With the slightest touch of a diver’s fin, the algae spreads like wildfire.
If it is left untouched the ecosystem of the bay could be at risk, causing non native fish to come in and replace the native species. Scientists are now trying to figure out a way to effectively get rid of the algae. It has been a struggle to balance the demand for tourism with conserving paradise.
|Written by alanp|
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Filed under: Costa Rica News on August 31st, 2007