By Scott Moskowitz, CNN
Beachgoers in Qingdao, one of Northeastern China’s premier summer vacation destinations, were undeterred by massive algal blooms spreading across the city’s coastline. Though not in and of itself poisonous, the algae is a by product of high-levels of nitrates from agricultural and industrial runoff and can choke off marine life.
While such algal blooms can be devastating to maritime and aquaculture industries, Qingdao’s tourism industry appears to be unaffected. Next month’s annual beer festival appears to be on schedule, and, though cleanup efforts are underway, swimmers seem resigned to frolicking in the slime.
This is not the first-time the former German colony – as famous for its eponymous beer as its beaches – has faced down this slimy invader. In 2008, the Chinese government mobilized the People’s Liberation Army to haul algae from Qingdao’s beaches when a surprise bloom threatened the start of the Olympic sailing and windsurfing competitions.
Despite official lip service paid to ideas like “Green GDP” in recent years, most Chinese seem resigned to the fact that this is the only sort of green growth they will be seeing anytime soon. In the slideshow above we take a look back at China’s recent battles with green goop in Qingdao and elsewhere.