Monday, July 7, 2008

Chinese Ecodisaster Olympic Problems

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By JIM YARDLEY\New York Times

With less than six weeks before it plays host to the Olympic sailing regatta, the city of Qingdao, China, has mobilized thousands of people and an armada of small boats to clean up an algal bloom choking the coastline and threatening to impede the competition.

Local officials have begun an intense effort to clean up the algae by mid-July. News reports estimate as many as 20,000 people have either volunteered or been ordered to participate in the operation, while 1,000 boats are scooping algae out of the Yellow Sea. The country’s official news agency, Xinhua, reported that algae currently cover a third of the coastal waters designated for the Olympic competition.

Instead, scientists blamed the increased rainfall and warmer waters in the Yellow Sea for the bloom. Algae blooms now affect more than 5,000 square miles of seawater, Xinhua reported.

“I believe we will make sure the Olympics sailing area is clean by July 15 through our efforts, and make sure the Olympics sailing goes smoothly,” Mr. Yuan said, according to the Shandong News Web site.

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