07/05/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Olympics Get Greener: Sailing Venue Plagued By Algae

Beijing Olympics organizers grappling to cut pollution in time for the Summer Games face a new threat: a plague of algae at the sailing venue in Qingdao.

The eastern city's coastline has become caked in a layer of blue-green algae, including at the site of the Olympic sailing competitions taking place from Aug. 9-13.

"It's a climatic disaster and we can only hope the heavens will be kind to us in August,'' said Wang Haitao, the city's chief spokesman, in a phone interview today.

Warmer waters, increased rainfall and high levels of nutrients in the ocean brought about the algae explosion along vast stretches of the 800-kilometer (500-mile) coastline, according to the Qingdao Weather Bureau.

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