‘Harmful algae’ pollution alert now extended from Minnis Bay to Margate

Pollution alerts

The Environment Agency’s advice against bathing at Minnis Bay due to ‘algae pollution’ has been extended to West Bay, St Mildred’s Bay, Westbrook and Margate.

The agency says for all five beaches: “Bathing is not advised, due to pollution from harmful algae.

“This incident has been identified as an abnormal situation, water quality monitoring has been suspended. Monitoring will resume once the incident is over.”

The EA says it is investigating after receiving a report of thousands of dead and dying ragworms and lugworms on the beach at Minnis Bay

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Our environment officers are investigating being notified by a member of the public about thousands of dead and dying ragworms and lugworms on the beach at Minnis Bay, in Birchington-on-Sea. We are also gathering samples for analysis to determine the cause of death.

“We are grateful to the member of the public who contacted us, and encourage anyone else to report environmental incidents to our 24-hour incident hotline: 0800 807060.”

Dying ragworms and lugworm were found at Minnis Bay. Photo Environment Agency

The first notice was issued at 4.39pm yesterday (May 20) and followed reports of dead marine life along the coastline.

It has now been extended around the coast to Margate.

Thanet council is working with the Environment Agency, which is investigating the reports and testing water samples.

Signs have been put in place advising members of the public to stay above the high water mark and to refrain from entering the water.

“Dog owners are asked to keep their dogs on a lead at all times when on the beaches in this location.


  1. How devastatingly sad. Lugworms live for 5-6 years. Yet not on the sands that stretch through Margate, Minnis Bay etc etc etc…. They are a fine contribution to sandy beaches and much scientific study and research done on them. The crabs in their hundreds, sea-life, the lugworms. Tragic and shameful. Yet we put man in space and create more and more harm on this planet. Always shocking.

    • I’m not sure how putting men in space affects lungworm in Minnis Bay!
      But I do agree that for far too long we’ve used our rivers, seas and oceans as rubbish dumps for any inconvenient stuff we wanted to be rid of.

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