Red algae has returned once again to Pine Point Beach in Scarborough. Credit: CBS 13

SCARBOROUGH — A sticky and smelly invasive species has returned to Pine Point Beach in Scarborough, but officials say there’s not much they can do to get rid of it.

The Asian red algae tends to return in late August, officials said, and turns the sand and surf a reddish-brown color. Although it’s no surprise that the invasive species is back, it’s still disappointing to beachgoers.

“It’s just thick and red and yucky. It’s like thick seaweed,” said Stephanie Greco, who has been coming to the beach for decades. “It gets worse as time goes on, it seems like over the last ten years. It’s a bummer.”

Some people may confuse the algae with red tide, but the invasive species isn’t harmful, according to Steve Buckley, deputy director of the public works department. He also said warm weather and rainy conditions seem to impact the algae’s presence on beaches.

Unfortunately, there’s not much officials can do about the algae, as their cleaning equipment for the beach is designed to pick up trash instead of seaweed and is not very effective, he said.

“The reality is our resources. It’s something out of our control. We’re at the mercy of mother nature,” he said.

Buckley said it should disappear this fall as the weather gets cooler.

“Just deal with it, that’s all you can do.”