Toxic Foam on Marina Beach
The Marina Beach is one of the foremosts tourist spots in Chennai. The beach stretch has been covered with toxic white foam over the past four days. It is a new pollution hazard the country is facing.
The foam suds apparently are giving off an acrid smell, and fishermen have been warned not to venture out to sea. The foam does form during the monsoon season, but this season has been particularly bad. Doctors have warned that skin problems could occur. Children are happy playing and taking selfies in the clouds of white suds formed by the foam, unaware of the toxic-filled froth.
The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has taken samples of the toxic white foam for analysis. It is hazardous and not good for people, who are unable to understand the risk it causes. Fishermen are lamenting that customers are not ready to buy even the small quantities of fish they catch on a daily basis.
On the weekends, tens of thousands of people throng the sands of the Marina Beach, once a pristine tourist spot. However, the effects of pollution are evident. Experts blame the heavy rain that has carried untreated sewage and phosphate into the sea.
There is high phosphate content in the sea. Moreover, the churning effect of the gushing water into the sea from an estuary creates the frothing.
Pollution appears to be a bigger threat to India's beaches than rising seas. Sewage, micro-plastic, bags and plastic cups that litter the beach are killing fish. Authorities state that only 40 per cent of the sewage in Chennai and other big cities get proper treatment.
Sources at the National Centre for Coastal Research said they are planning to deploy a buoy to monitor and forecast the sea-water quality, off the Marina beach. The buoy will measure the basic water quality based on different parameters. The depleting oxygen levels caused by such pollutants are the reason for the death of marine organisms.