Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Algae Bloom in Talo'fo'fo'

Jeff’s Pirates Cove owner pleads for help
By Gerardo R. Partido
Variety News Staff
September 5, 2007

ROTTING seaweed is clogging up the Togcha River and one business in the area wants the government to do something about it.

According to Jeff Pleadwell, owner of Jeff’s Pirates Cove, it’s time to clean up the Togcha River and think of ways to help stop the effluent flow into the river.

“This past year, I spent an average of $200 a day for two weeks after the algae blooms to clean up and avoid the smell and pollution when it decays on shore. The entire bottom of the once pristine, beautiful and healthy river mouth is now covered like a rug with dead grey stinky seaweed,” Pleadwell said.

According to Pleadwell, the bloom occurred monthly from February to July this year and his forced cleanup cost has amounted to around $15,000 or more a year.

“If you multiply that by the five years I have been aggressively cleaning it up, it means I have spent over $65,000 almost all in labor. My loss of business in the early years when I did not know how to deal with the stink and associated problems is substantial,” Pleadwell said.

He added that the government has openly admitted fault in not complying for the past 22-plus years.

He charged the Environmental Protection Agency of allowing a clean water source to be destroyed, as well as the reef and surrounding coastline, which are being poisoned and devastated every day.

“Coral, fish, seaweed, everything is being hurt. Recently, I was told it would be another two years before it will be corrected. I have heard this before and it did not happen,” Pleadwell lamented.

Pleadwell said he can not afford to clean up the mess anymore and wants GovGuam to ask the federal government for assistance on the matter.

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