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Qingdao promises to keep green algae out of sailing venue
12:01, August 03, 2008

East China's coastal city Qingdao, which will host Olympic sailing games, promised on Saturday that it would keep green algae out of the event waters.

Ocean monitoring showed sporadic green algae still in the sea around Qingdao, and wind and ocean currents could bring it to the sailing venue again, said Wang Haitao, assistant chairperson of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) sailing committee.

"We have installed barriers and fences to keep algae out of the Olympic sailing venue, which covers 50 square kilometers, and have prepared equipment for fishing out the algae," Wang said on Saturday.

Most of the 1 million tons of green algae that was cleared from the sea around the sailing venue was transported to remote suburbs of Qingdao and buried deep under the ground.

"It will not cause any secondary problems," he said.

In mid-June, the coast was coated with a vast algae bloom that had floated from the Yellow Sea. It covered 32 percent of the sailing venue at the peak of the outbreak.

After a month of intense effort, the local authorities installed two barriers to keep algae out of the sailing venue. Soldiers and volunteers had been working to remove the algae.

Wang said the odor from rotting algae along the city's coast had disappeared because all the algae was removed by Aug. 1.

He said Chinese companies used fresh algae to produce nutritious food products for export.

"If a strong typhoon or storm occurred in Qingdao, we would have to suspend the games," said Wang. "However, there will be plans to deal with extreme weather and to resume the games as soon as possible afterwards."

The sailing will take place from Aug. 9 to 23. More than 400 athletes from almost 60 countries and regions will compete for 11 gold medals.

Source: Xinhua

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