Locals launch bid to clean up water in Preston Dock

Preston Marina (Photo Tony Worrall)
Preston Marina (Photo Tony Worrall)

A public campaign to tackle the age-old plague of blue-green algae in Preston Docks will be launched next month.

Three local residents are spearheading a “community-led action” to clean up the water and make the area a better place to live, work and play.

The friends - water engineer Dave Smith, scientist Dave Crawshaw and UCLan Professor Ted Smith - are looking for volunteers to help a project they first dreamed up 11 years ago.

They are setting up a task force “to help us turn our plans into reality.”

A public meeting will be held in the Preston Sea Cadets headquarters in Strand Road on November 6 at 7pm.

Professor Smith, who lives nearby in Ashton, said: “The marina is much-loved by residents and visitors alike. I’d love to see the water quality improved, though, and believe this would attract more visitors and encourage greater recreational use of the water.”

Blue-green algae has been an issue in the dock basin since it closed as a working port in 1981. Despite repeated attempts to cure the problem and improve water quality, it still persists.

Dave Crawshaw said that the three had done “considerable” research and contacted stakeholders about their plans.

“We are delighted with the support and interest we have received so far and would urge anyone who would like to help us practically, or support us in any way, to join us at our public meeting on November 6.”

Preston Council said it was aware of the current blue-green algae levels at Preston Marina.

“Any long term solution to eradicate the problem will need to consider important issues around water management,” said a spokesperson.

“Council funding is at an all-time low and resources to clean up the marina and solve this algae problem are sparse at this time.”

Sue Cameron, director of Preston Marine Services which is based at the marina, said: “We would welcome clean water in the dock and it would open up all sorts of exciting opportunities for the city, however, it is not all bad and we are making the best of what we have.

"The water is regularly used and enjoyed by marina customers, our RYA Training Centre and a very active dragon boat club “The Preston Dragons.”

"We are very interested in this campaign and will help if we can.”