Smelly algae rotting along waterfront

A strong stench of sewage hit passersby at a section of the George Town harbour front Monday morning. 

But what looked and smelled like sewage, turned out to be rotting algae that had washed inland, said a local environmental official. 

Staff from the Cayman Islands Department of Environment checked out the black sludge that was washing up against the harbour wall and nearby rocks at the harbour front on the western side of the capital in Grand Cayman, opposite Strathvale House. 

“It’s a particular kind of algae that’s collected in the bay and it’s rotting,” said Tim Austin, deputy director of the Department of Environment. 

The fresh algae looks dark green but as it rots, it turns black and produces a stench similar to sewage, due to the hydrogen sulfide released during the bacterial breakdown of the material, Mr. Austin said. 

While he said there was nothing harmful in the rotting algae in terms of pollutants, Mr. Austin admitted he would not swim in it himself. 

The algae was beginning to wash back out to sea in a slick later Monday morning, but some of it remained closer to shore as the waves continued to bring it back toward land. 

“There is really nothing we can do with it, we’ve just got to let nature take its course,” Mr. Austin said. 

What looked and smelled like sewage, turned out to be rotting algae that had washed inland, said a local environmental official. 


  1. My suggestions are to keep a close watch on this. My reason for saying this is because one day while walking along the beach. I will Narrow it down but will not say which district. Need to leave some work for invironmental officer. But it was not George Town. Not West Bay. Not North Side. I saw a pvc pipe running under the sand straight to the water edge out in the sea from homes owned by foreigners on the beach. This was a sewage pipe. Cayman has become too bad to tell anything to anyone, too much corruption in certain places.. So Do some work Department of environment and find it.

  2. I am pretty certain that about twenty odd years ago they discovered the remains of an old cess pit under what would be the Northern end of the Breezes building. It had started to leach up and out onto the sidewalk opposite Hog Sty Bay. However, presumably Simon’ s team’s tests have excluded that sort of possibility.

  3. Many many years ago a homeless man was living under the floors of the Old Fort building in George Town. Guess what was discovered. Sewage from shops were being let out under there out in the sea; also water from kitchen sinks. These places were shops owned by foreign people. I am not bashing foreigners, but surely they too are getting away with murder.

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