Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said she is concerned about the presence of potentially toxic algae in the water at Castlerock and suspected at Portstewart, with both beaches now red-flagged for swimming.
The East Derry MLA said:
“It is very concerning that potentially toxic algae has been identified in the sea at two of our most beautiful beaches which have now been red-flagged for swimming at the busiest time of year for tourists.
“I would urge people to follow the guidance of the RNLI and stay out of the water.
“I have written to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the NI Environment Agency about the occurrence of the potentially toxic algae to enquire what they are doing to investigate the causes.
“While agencies have linked recent occurrences of the toxic algae including at Lough Neagh to the hotter than average weather, it is important that the potential link with pollution in our waterways is also investigated.
“I have also enquired if there is a monitoring programme of the water at other local beaches nearby to protect swimmers and pets.”