News Releases

GVB & Dept. of Agriculture to team up to remove invasive algae from Tumon Bay

July 13, 2018

Volunteers needed on Sunday, July 15

(Tumon, Guam) The Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) and the Guam Department of Agriculture are seeking volunteers to help with the removal of invasive algae that is spreading rapidly in the waters of Tumon Bay. A cleanup of the algae, known as Chaetomorpha, is scheduled for this Sunday, July 15, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon from Ypao Beach to Matapang Beach.

The algal bloom was noticed in the last few weeks, first affecting the Tumon shoreline. With the passing of Tropical Depression 10W, which later became Super Typhoon Maria, the algae spread within 100 feet of the reef.

“We are happy to work with Department of Agriculture on this issue,” said GVB President and CEO Nathan Denight. “If we don’t act to remove these algae soon, it will smother our coral and marine life and will cause a safety concern for everyone that enjoys our waters. We invite the community to help us with this joint cleanup as it affects all beachgoers, paddling teams, swimmers, and visitors.”

The cleanup will focus on the worst spots of the algal bloom, which will be from the shoreline between Ypao Beach to Matapang Beach, and 100 feet out.

“Please come down and help us on Sunday,” said Fisheries Biologist Brent Tibbatts. “These invasive algae have been a problem around Cocos Island in Merizo for several years and we don’t want it affecting Tumon Bay. After this cleanup with GVB is completed, we will be looking at another opportunity to do a cleanup of the algae at Cocos.”

The meeting site for the July 15th cleanup will be in the Ypao Beach Main Pavilion at Governor Joseph F. Flores Memorial Park at 8 a.m. Volunteers are encouraged to bring snorkel gear, and standup paddleboards if they have any. The cleanup team is also looking for trucks to help haul up the algae to the Department of Agriculture. Water will be provided for the volunteers, as well as containers to collect the algae.

For more information, Tibbatts can be contacted at (671)787-5853.

Media Contact: JOSH TYQUIENGCO - Public Information Officer