Video from WGME shows a red, thick, and goopy mess washing up on the Scarborough beach of Pine Point Beach. The beach is a long sandy beach in Saco Bay and is a great Southern Maine attraction. Unfortunately, the beach suffers from a continual issue of something rotting and slimy washing up on its beaches.
One review from TripAdvisor from a year ago by Ellen W. of Big Sur, California mentions this beach's problem with red algae in the past stating, "Don't go when red algae are blooming..check first No warnings posted. Beach covered with a layer of dead/rotting algae. Water thick with algae-like walking in jello. Information I've read now that I'm home says NOT SAFE to swim for pets or people. I did see dead clams on the beach. Some people had little kids in the water...I hope they are alright."
Let's set the record straight. The substance is red algae and it is harmless. It can be concerning if you are aware of red tide, which is another kind of algae that when overgrown can paint water red or brown, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Overgrowth is harmful to humans.
The algae on this Maine beach, however, is red Asian algae and is harmless. Despite knowing this one fact it can be difficult to get past the visual of a shore covered in this mucky algae mixed with seaweed and the smell.
Past reports mention that is about this time of year that the algae blooms and becomes a problem for this Maine beach. The visual and smell will last into September so, for those visiting this beautiful beach, hang in there. It will be gone for the year... eventually.
And, if you are feeling adventurous, check out some traditional Asian cuisines that include the algae- then, maybe you can appreciate it when it's around... dinner!