Algae blooms to be studied in Devon estuary

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A survey is to be carried out at a Devon estuary next week to assess algae growth.

Environment Agency officers will use a hovercraft to access parts of Salcombe and Kingsbridge estuary.

The three-day survey will focus on algae blooms in Park Bay, Collapit and Banksmill creeks and will assess the amount present compared with last year.

Salcombe harbour master Ian Gibson said: "The work is necessary to protect and improve the local environment."

He added that the study had to be carried out at the height of the summer as this was the peak growing season.

According to Mr Gibson, the inter-tidal survey has to be completed at low water and therefore a hovercraft is the safest way to cross the mud banks.

The information gathered will be used to assess the impact of nutrient enrichment and chemical pollution.

The study is part of the commitment by the Harbour Authority, South Hams District Council and the Environment Agency to improve the water quality in the estuary.

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