Red Asian algae washes up on the beach at Pine Point in Scarborough in this CBS 13 image. Credit: CBS 13

SCARBOROUGH, Maine – People near Pine Point Beach are complaining about red algae by the water.

They say the smell it brings is almost unbearable.

The smell out is being caused by the seaweed, which can be found all along the shore.

“The stench, the smell is really bad right now,” one woman told CBS 13. “As I was walking down through I had to put my hand over my nose, because I couldn’t stand smelling it.”

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It is called red Asian algae, which typically stays for just a couple weeks.

This year, residents say the seaweed and smell has lingered for about six weeks.

The algae is cleared from the beach twice a week.

However, it cannot be completely cleared because of a conservation easement at one section of the shore.

People working at the beach say the smell is affecting business.

“People have been leaving,” beach attendant Cameron Nigro said. “They’ll come and pay and ask for their money back cause it’s almost unbearable. They’ll want to leave because they’ll bring their kids and don’t want them swimming in it.”

Residents say the algae is referred to as the “red tide” and that the smell seeps through neighborhoods.

The public works department says it is trying to get an agreement with the state to allow all of the seaweed to be cleared away so that the smell can go.

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