Experts blame nitrogen for high tide of seaweed

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LIDO BEACH -

Some South Shore beachgoers say a slimy abundance of seaweed is drowning out the fun at their favorite beaches, and experts are blaming nitrogen runoff.

"It's like slimy, gooey -- It's just disgusting," says Connor Albrektsen.

"There's a lot of crabs when there's a lot of seaweed," says Denise Lapierre, of West Islip. "It's nerve racking, because you don't want to get pinched by a crab."

The seaweed floats offshore and washes up in the sand, coating the oceanfront shoreline, according to swimmers and sunbathers.

The Town of Hempstead says seaweed is a huge problem. Officials there say they have crews scoop it up every morning.

Marine expert Christopher Gobler, from Stony Brook University, blames the discharge from Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant. The chemicals, especially nitrogen, promote seaweed growth, he says.

A county spokesperson says authorities are working on some modifications at the plant that will reduce or possibly eliminate the nitrogen discharge.

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